When the 3MF Consortium launched in 2015 it was difficult not to note the illustrious parts that made up the consortium aiming to redefine the humble STL file; companies like Microsoft, Autodesk, Dassault, Shapeways, netfabb, SLM Soltions etc show that this was not going to be an organisation that sat back and took no action.
Since the launch many companies have joined the consortium in order to help develop and promote a new full-fidelity file format for the 3D printing industry, today the 3MF Consortium have announced another huge multi-national to that ever-growing list; GE Global Research, the central technology development hub of GE, has joined at the Founding membership level.
Scientists and engineers in GE's Additive Manufacturing Lab have been pioneers in developing new additive produced components with metals and ceramics. In fact, with 3D printed parts being used in two different jet engine platforms, GE built the first mass production additive facility in the U.S. in Auburn, Alabama, which is building parts and getting more machines on line every month. Today GE is the world's largest user of additive technologies with metals.
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"With the successful integration of 3D printed metal parts in two different jet engine platforms and the construction of GE Aviation's $50 million state-of-the-art high-volume additive production plant in Auburn, Alabama, we achieved major milestones with our additive program in 2015," said Prabhjot Singh, Manager of the Additive Manufacturing Lab at GE Global Research. "But we have only scratched the surface on additive's potential. With even better design tools, machines and new materials, we can dramatically expand the additive industry's footprint in manufacturing. That future will arrive faster through the strong ecosystem that 3MF is building to bring the right stakeholders together to accelerate new innovations and breakthroughs in this space."
"GE Global Research is a recognized leader with real-world experience using 3D printing and additive manufacturing to drive innovation," said Adrian Lannin, 3MF Consortium executive director. "We look forward to working with GE Global Research to enrich the 3MF standard and create new opportunities for both 3D printing and the additive manufacturing ecosystem."
The 3MF Consortium was formed to close the gap between the capabilities of modern 3D printers and outdated file formats. The 3MF specification eliminates the problems associated with currently available file formats, resolving interoperability and functionality issues, and enabling companies to focus more on innovation. The first version of the 3MF specification is available now for download at no charge.