GE Jet Engine Loading Bracket
The design quest invited companies, individuals and institutions to redesign loading brackets for jet engines using 3D printing technology.
Jet engine brackets are a crucial jet engine component, supporting the weight of the engine during handling and they have to endure significant vibrations during flight.
Additive manufacturing has the potential to reduce the weight of a single aircraft engine by 1,000 lbs and drive a substantial reduction in fuel consumption. The quest combines the power of additive manufacturing with open innovation and seeks design solutions which will not only reduce the bracket weight but also improve its strength and performance.
Mark Little, Senior Vice-President and Chief Technology Officer, GE Global Research Center said: "We have entered into a new era of manufacturing that is leveraging the proven power of open innovation. Additive manufacturing is allowing GE, together with the Maker community, to push the boundaries of traditional engineering. These finalists have demonstrated what can be achieved by embracing this more open, collaborative model."
Launched in June of this year, the quest attracted a record number of design entries via the GrabCAD community. Each finalist will receive a $1,000 prize and move onto Phase II, in which the jet engine bracket designs will be constructed using additive manufacturing and subjected to load testing by GE.
CEO of GrabCAD and TCT Show + Personalize speaker Hardi Meybaum commented: "The GE Quest has been one our most successful challenges, in terms of number of entrants, technical sophistication of submissions and quality of results. It's been great watching the community exploit the advantages of additive manufacturing in such a demanding application."
Located around the world, finalists include:
- Ármin Fendrik, based in Hungary; a third-year university student with this entry being among his first 3D printing designs.
- Thomas Johansson, Ph.D, based in Sweden; a consultant for a Swedish hyper-car manufacturer and a champion snowmobile drag racer.
- Nic Adams, based in Australia; who supported the installation of a pathology lab automation system in a Sydney hospital, which includes a robotic handling system that helps analyse hundreds of test tubes each day.
- M Arie Kurniawan, based in Indonesia; co-founder of an engineering firm that provides high quality mechanical engineering, design optimisation and product design services.
- Sebastien Vavassori, based in the United Kingdom; a stress engineer for a leading European space manufacturer and service provider.
- Piotr Mikulski, based in Poland; a rapid prototyping systems specialist for a Polish-Swiss joint-venture that provides industrial and machining services.
- Andreas Anedda, based in Italy; a postgraduate university student holder of three patents.
- Alexis Costa, who is based in France.
- Mandli Peter, who is based in Hungary.
- Fidel Chirtes, who is based in Romania.
Phase II of the Jet Engine Bracket Design Quest will run from September 17th to November 15th 2013 and the top eight designs will receive awards from a total prize pool of $20,000.
This scheme and GE's focus on additive manufacturing are part of the company's continued commitment to the ongoing industrial revolution – advanced manufacturing. GE is the world's largest user of additive technologies in metals, with a full-scale additive manufacturing facility in Cincinnati, Ohio, and a global team of 600 engineers across 21 sites.