GE Additive and Wichita State University (WSU) National Institute for Aeronautical Research (NIAR) signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding as the cornerstone of a new collaborative effort to support the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) accelerated adoption of metal additive manufacturing (AM) technology.
Additive manufacturing technology in the commercial and military aerospace and defense sector has grown dramatically over the past decade, and during that time GE and the Wichita State NIAR have worked closely with DOD, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and other stakeholders to accelerate adoption of FA for high criticality applications.
The partnership will accelerate the adoption of metal additives within the aerospace and military defense industrial base by advocating for common practices, rapid qualification and certification, and the development of a shared database for data. and knowledge of additive manufacturing.
GE Additive is a global leader in additive technology, materials science, material manufacturing, component design and aerospace qualification. NIAR brings global leadership in applied aerospace research, materials testing and qualification, digital twin, and structural testing and certification. Both parties have been recognized by the DOD as industry leaders: NIAR in the development of digital twins of various aging vehicles; and GE Additive by providing metal additive technology to print non-production and obsolete spare parts from digital twin data.
âNIAR’s materials database capabilities are an important asset needed to create a comprehensive, secure and accessible standard format for materials data that all repositories can use,â said David Handler, general manager – government affairs at GE Additive.
GE Additive and NIAR aim to establish an industrial platform flexible enough to be used in all branches of DOD.
âThe partnership will accelerate DOD’s desire to go from old metal to digital and then provide the necessary spare parts from digital to new metal,â Handler added.
The development of the database will also involve the implementation of students in an applied learning capacity, providing a unique new workforce that understands the intricacies of qualifying and implementing additive manufacturing. .
To be an effective and relevant resource, GE Additive and NIAR plan to act quickly. The partnership and involvement of student-employees will allow the team to rapidly develop specifications for converting metal to digital and digital to metal – part by part.
GE Additive comprises the Concept Laser and Arcam EBM additive machine brands, as well as the additive powder supplier AP&C.
Created in 1985, the NIAR has an annual budget of +190 million dollars; 975 employees and nearly 1.6 million square feet of lab and office space in six locations across the city of Wichita, Kansas.