The Aerospace Industry Is Betting Big On 3D Printing Technology
The aerospace industry is betting big on 3D printing technology, otherwise known as additive manufacturing. Industry giants like Lockheed Martin and Honeywell are incorporating additively manufactured components into their designs, and GE Aviation is investing $70 million in an Auburn, Alabama factory to make 3D printed fuel nozzles for its LEAP jet engine. What used to require welding together 20 parts now requires printing just one.
"We get five times the durability. We have a lighter-weight fuel nozzle. And we frankly have a fuel nozzle that operates in an environment more effectively and more efficiently than previous fuel nozzles," Greg Morris, who leads the additive manufacturing team for GE Aviation in Cincinnati, Ohio, tells Business Insider.
Additive manufacturing now represents a small, $3 billion slice of overall manufacturing output. Morris predicts that number will soar in coming years — to some $100 billion.