Nov 11, 2013

GE develops metal powder cold spray 3d printing technology

GE is intensively researching and using various forms of 3d printing. This is new approach where they use "cold spray" technology to spray metal particle paint layers on metal part and form a shape. Since it can be applied on metal surfaces, it can be used to repair a part as well as make a new one. This could result in huge savings in complex metal parts repair or maintenance.

From GE site:

Spray technologies are particularly attractive for the production of large structures, which are challenging for today’s powder-bed additive manufacturing processes due to equipment size limitations. 
The cold spray technique has the potential to scale up to build larger parts, with the only limitation being the size of the area over which metal powders can be applied.
Cold spray—also known as 3D painting—demonstrates a unique marriage of materials, process, and product function which can, in the immediate future, transform repair processes for industrial and aircraft components such as rotors, blades, shafts, propellers, and gear boxes.
Since cold spray does not require heat, like common repair processes such as welding, it allows a repaired part to be restored close to its original condition. In GE’s Oil and Gas business, GE researchers are exploring cold spray as an alternate way to repair or coat parts involved in oil and gas drilling and turbo machinery.
Cold spray’s future benefits include extended product lifespan and reduced manufacturing time and material costs, all of which translate into significant customer benefits.



here is the video about Cold Spray additive manufacturing technology layering process in super slow motion:

From video description:
See the Slow Mo Guys film GE researchers demonstrate a process called "cold spray", in which metal powders are sprayed at high velocities to build a part or add material to repair an existing part. GE researchers are exploring this 3D painting technology as an alternate way to repair or coat parts involved in oil and gas drilling and turbo machinery. To see the process on film, the Slow Mo Guys spray copper particles 10 times bigger than normally used for this process.