General Electric‘s technology development unit has received a four-year, $9 million contract from the U.S. Navy to develop a framework to validate and certify 3D-printed spare parts for military ships, aircraft and other platforms.
The company said Wednesday GE Global Research will collaborate with GE Aviation, GE Additive, Honeywell, Pennsylvania State University, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Navy Nuclear Lab and the National Center for Defense Manufacturing and Machining on the project.
“Using GE’s Digital Twin technology, we’re aiming to rapidly speed up the time that parts could be re-engineered or newly created using 3D printing processes,” said Ade Makinde, principal engineer of additive technologies at GE Global Research.
Digital Twins function as learning models that represent physical assets, parts, processes and systems.
The team seeks to build these models based on data from 3D metal printers in efforts to accelerate the certification process for replacement parts.
The project’s first phase will center on developing software and hardware and the second phase will focus on constructing the additive manufacturing system for reproducing digital replicas of components.