Just a few years ago, 3D printers lived mainly inside labs and on garage desktops where hobbyists used them to produce plastic keepsakes.

Not anymore. Today, companies such as GE are using 3D printing and other additive manufacturing methods—which shape components by adding material together, rather than removing it—to print parts for jets as well as power plants and medical scanners.

This week GE announced plans to acquire two top additive manufacturing companies—Sweden’s Arcam AB and Germany’s SLM Solutions Group—for $1.4 billion. GE plans to expand the use of 3D printers internally and also serve as a key supplier of additive manufacturing technology to the industry.

 

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3D Printing / Additive Manufacturing, The Fastener Museum