GE Asks Maker Community to Push the Boundaries of What is 3D Printable, launching Open Engineering Quests

by General Electric

Pittsburgh, PA  – General Electric (NYSE: GE) announced at the RAPID 2013 Conference two global additive manufacturing quests that invite entrepreneurs, companies and institutions to offer their solutions to both challenges: a 3D Printing Design Quest for technologies used in healthcare and a 3D Printing Production Quest for an aircraft engine bracket.

Mark Little, Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, GE Global Research Center said, “GE is committed to leading the next manufacturing revolution through innovative hardware, material and process advancements. This revolution depends on collaboration with external innovators and partners. These Quests will help us to convene and engage this community in meaningful ways and ultimately build an additive manufacturing ecosystem that scales the industry to new heights.”

Additive manufacturing (AM) is a key part of the advanced manufacturing revolution. GE has already reduced production times by up to 25% and achieved cost savings without sacrificing performance by putting additive technologies to work on an industrial scale. Continued external collaboration with fabrication leaders will accelerate the application of these technologies to further increase the speed and quality of innovation.

The additive manufacturing quests, which leverage GE’s prior successful Flight and Hospital quests in a new space, are launching with partners GrabCAD and NineSigma. Both are open to the public. The first phase of both quests will be open from June 11, 2013 to July 26, 2013.

3D Printing Design Quest

  • The design quest tasks participants to create the best 3D-printable design for an aircraft engine bracket.
  • The top ten designs from the first phase will win $1,000 each and will be additively manufactured and tested by GE during phase two.
  • The top 8 designs in the second phase will be awarded from a total prize pool of $20,000.
  • GE has partnered with GrabCAD to launch the design quest. During the quest, GrabCAD’s online community of more than 650,000 global engineers will have a chance to submit their CAD design solutions to a panel including some of GE’s brightest engineers.
  • Creative makers worldwide are invited to apply.
  • See Official Rules for details. Contest opens on June 11, 2013. Must submit at least one entry by July 26, 2013 to be eligible for phase two. Must be 18 years of age or older to participate. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited.

3D Printing Production Quest: High Precision and Advanced Manufacturing

  • This quest asks participants to use 3-D printing technology to produce highly precise and complex parts with high precision. Such parts will have potential application in medical imaging and a broad spectrum of other GE businesses.
  • An objective of this quest is to broaden GE’s supplier network of high-end 3D fabricators with sophisticated production capabilities.
  • Up to ten winners from the first phase will be awarded $5,000 and invited to participate in the second phase, which includes prototype fabrication with specified materials. Up to three winning prototypes will be awarded $50,000 each.
  • GE has partnered with Nine Sigma to launch the production quest.
  • This open innovation quest will be judged and tested by industry experts in fields of additive manufacturing and engineering.
  • 3D printer fabricators worldwide are invited to apply.
  • See Official Rules for details. Contest opens on June 11, 2013. Must submit at least one entry by July 26, 2013 to be eligible for phase two. Must be 18 years of age or older to participate. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited.

Combining GE’s technology and scale with GrabCAD and NineSigma’s communities of innovators and open innovation platforms will inspire and facilitate the creative collaboration needed to generate new solutions to some of the toughest additive manufacturing challenges.

Greg Morris, Strategy and Business Development for Additive Technologies at GE, said, “GE is always looking for new ways to bring great ideas to life, and we’re excited to tap the creativity and skills of GrabCAD and NineSigma’s significant membership databases. New approaches, including additive manufacturing and crowd-sourcing design concepts, are just a few of the ways we are accelerating our design process.”

GE’s focus on additive technologies is part of its continued leadership in 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, spread across 21 sites. Companywide, GE invests $6 billion in R&D.

Our appreciation to Emily Iwan and GE for permission to publish news about GE’s exciting Quests.  More information on the Quests can be found at http://www.ge.com/OpenInnovation.

About GE
GE (NYSE: GE) works on things that matter. The best people and the best technologies taking on the toughest challenges. Finding solutions in energy, health and home, transportation and finance. Building, powering, moving and curing the world. Not just imagining. Doing. GE works. For more information, visit the company’s website at www.ge.com.

About GE Global Research
GE Global Research is the hub of technology development for all of GE’s businesses. Our scientists and engineers redefine what’s possible, drive growth for our businesses, and find answers to some of the world’s toughest problems.

We innovate 24 hours a day, with sites in Niskayuna, New York; San Ramon, California; Ann Arbor, Michigan; Bangalore, India; Shanghai, China; Munich, Germany; and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Visit GE Global Research on the web at www.ge.com/research. Connect with our technologists at http://edisonsdesk.com and http://twitter.com/edisonsdesk.

About GrabCAD
GrabCAD is leading the Open Engineering movement, helping engineers get products to market faster by connecting people, content and technology. GrabCAD Workbench makes it easy for engineers to share files, work with partners and complete projects on time, while the GrabCAD Community accelerates the design process by tapping into the knowledge and resources of the largest source of CAD content and engineering minds in the world. Founded in 2010, the company is backed by Matrix Partners and Charles River Ventures and is headquartered in Cambridge, MA with a development offices in Estonia and the UK. Learn more at http://grabCAD.com/.

About NineSigma
NineSigma connects organizations with external innovation resources to accelerate innovation in private, public and social sectors. The company provides open innovation services to organizations worldwide, including Kraft Foods, Philips, Siemens, and Unilever, to solve immediate challenges, integrate new knowledge, fill product pipelines, and stay ahead of the competition. Named to the 2012 Inc. 5000 list of fastest-growing private U.S. companies, NineSigma’s proprietary process has produced billions of dollars in value for its clients. NineSigma has the largest open global network of solution providers and an extensive database of existing solutions spanning numerous industries and technical disciplines. NineSigma’s online innovation community, NineSights®, is the world’s first open innovation social media destination, connecting innovators of all sizes with resources and relationships to drive growth. Learn more at www.ninesigma.com and www.ninesights.com.

GE Media Contact:
Sebastien Duchamp
1 646 682 5604
sebastien.duchamp@ge.com

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