Throughout the past few years, GE has put forth a considerable effort into developing the uses and abilities of 3D printing technology. The additive manufacturing technology has now begun to transform manufacturing as a whole, with the production of a variety of products such as jewelry, medical models/implants, and both automotive & aeronautical parts engines, having seen significant changes in their manufacturing processes. According to Carlos Haertel, the man in charge of running the GE Global Research Center in Munich, Germany, 3D printing technologies have opened a “new, unlimited dimension” for the creation of products.
Former jet engine designer, Mohammed Ehteshami, who now heads of GE Additive – a department dedicated to the development of 3D printers, 3D printer materials and engineering services – went as far as calling 3D printing technology ” an engineer’s dream,” and something he had “never imagined” to even be possible. To spread the knowledge, Ehteshami actually opened a Customer Experience Center in Munich where customers specializing in design and engineering can test out the technology. According to Haertel, whose Glocal Research Center neighbors the newly founded Customer Experience Center, “We need to get the word out and make people familiar with this technology and its potential. Then you will see a multiplication effect, and it can truly go exponential.”
GE Reports went to Munich and interviewed both Haertel and Ehteshami, as well as their colleagues: