GE chooses UNSW to receive 3D metal printer

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UNSW has unveiled a new $350,000 3D metal printer supplied by GE – becoming the only university outside the US to receive one.

 

GE Concept Laser Mlab Cusing 200R 3D metal printer


GE is investing US$10 million globally over the next five years to create a pipeline of additive manufacturing experts to accelerate advanced manufacturing under its Additive Education Program.

UNSW’s School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering (MME) received the Concept Laser Mlab Cusing 200R machine after a team of GE specialists evaluated and selected eight universities to receive the additive manufacturing equipment.

"This is a wonderful opportunity for GE to partner with UNSW and continue to grow the design possibilities for Australian engineers," GE Australia CEO Max York says, adding that this collaboration will help UNSW and GE to take the lead in fostering the next generation of additive manufacturing technology in this country.

The Concept Laser Mlab Cusing 200R machine is described as "a laser powder-bed fusion system designed to manufacture metal components with elaborate structures and parts made from reactive materials like titanium".

GE says it is ideally suited to fine detail, high-quality surface finish, and precision component structures.

At MME it will be used for the following additive manufacturing research areas:

  • Final part production and improvement of tolerances and surface finish;
  • Design and development of new materials, including light-weight and low-cost materials, suitable for additive manufacturing;
  • Design, optimisation and fabrication of various metal parts with functional gradient microstructure, complex geometry or optimised topology design; and
  • Simulation of the additive manufacturing process to understand and improve the manufacturing process.

MME head professor Chun Wang says the new machine will greatly enhance the education and research in additive manufacturing at UNSW.

"Students will be able to use this machine in a newly created course in additive manufacturing technology," he says.

"In research, this machine will enable collaborative research between engineering and medicine to develop novel spinal fusion devices to overcome the current clinical problem of poor bone ingrowth into fusion devices, for example.

"UNSW is also teaming up with a research team from Stanford University to develop in-situ characterisation of microscopic defects in additive manufacturing," Wang adds.

UNSW is honoured to receive the machine, Wang says, especially considering GE’s rigorous selection process.

This statement is backed up by GE Additive global sales general manager Tom Gleeson.

"That UNSW would be selected from 250 college and university applications under the GE Additive Education Program worldwide shows that Australian university students are punching above their weight when it comes to advancements in additive manufacturing," he says.

"MME has a great track record in additive manufacturing research and a strong vision of future research associated with a manufacturing process that will both disrupt and complement traditional manufacturing processes."

 

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