GE Renewable Energy, Fraunhofer IGCV, and voxeljet AG Plan to Develop World’s Largest Sand Binder Jetting 3D Printer for Offshore Wind Turbines
- Sep 16, 2021 2:49 pm GMT
- Project to accelerate and optimize the production of a key casting components1 of the GE Haliade-X Offshore Turbine
- 3D Printing provides flexibility to produce large turbine components near offshore wind projects, lowering transportation costs and bringing environmental benefits
- Trials of new technology expected to begin in Q1 2022
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Figure 1 - The basic binder jetting process is defined by spreading a layer of particle material onto a building platform. Subsequently a print head applies a binder into the powder bed where the part is to be printed. Then, a new layer of material is applied and the process repeats until the final part or mold ist printed. (Graphic: Business Wire)
The project involves the development of a new, large format 3D printer capable of producing sand molds for casting the highly complex metal parts of different shapes and sizes that make up an offshore wind turbine nacelle. The modular 3D printing process, which is based on voxeljet’s core “Binder-Jetting” technology, can be configured to print molds for castings up to 9.5 meters in diameter and 60-plus tons in weight, dimensions.
Juan Pablo Cilia, Senior Additive Design Engineer at GE Renewable Energy, said, “The 3D printed molds will bring many benefits including improved casting quality through improved surface finish, part accuracy and consistency. Furthermore, sand binder jet molds or additive molds provide cost savings by reducing machining time and other material costs due to optimized design. This unprecedented production technology will be a game changer for production efficiency allowing localized manufacturing in high cost countries, a key benefit for our customers looking to maximize the local economic development benefits of offshore wind.”
“While offsite on-demand 3D printing provides many benefits for small quantities of cast parts, running a 3D printing system on-site leverages the technology to its fullest capacity. Given the demand for offshore wind turbines, that will help a lot to fulfill project schedules and high market demands,” adds Dr.
- Casting is a manufacturing process in which a liquid material is usually poured into a mold, which contains a hollow cavity of the desired shape, and then allowed to solidify. The solidified part is also known as a casting, which is ejected or broken out of the mold to complete the process.
- A nacelle is a housing unit on top of the tower of a wind generator that contains its mechanical components.
- Source: https://www.iea.org/reports/offshore-wind-outlook-2019
About GE Renewable Energy
GE Renewable Energy is a
Fraunhofer IGCV stands for application-driven research with focus on efficient engineering, networked production, and smart multi-material solutions. The institute drives innovation on the level of manufacturing processes and material sciences, machines and process chains as well as factory and enterprise networks. One major focus is on the future scenarios and topics of the casting industry. Our core competences in this area include indirect additive manufacturing, molding materials, casting materials, process development, analytics, and simulation.
In an effort to transfer knowledge from research and development into industrial applications, our almost 120 scientists generate individual solutions for the German industry. Our unique selling proposition lies in interdisciplinary solutions in the fields of casting, composite and processing technology. As part of the
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