GE said Wednesday that GE Additive will work with GE Capital to both sell and finance metal additive machines. The news is but another sign of just how important officials at the multinational industrial company view 3D printing’s potential to transform medical device manufacturing and a host of other industries.
The company plans to target industrial markets including medical, aerospace, automotive and machining.
“Additive manufacturing is a key contributor to the manufacturing evolution; we’re excited to enable its growth,” Trevor Schauenberg, president and CEO of GE Capital Industrial Finance, said in a news release.
Mohammad Ehteshami, vice president for additive integration at GE Additive, said the goal is to “democratize additive manufacturing, making it easier for businesses to buy additive machines, fostering their competitiveness and accelerating the adoption rate.”
The financing partnership is but the latest major play that GE has been making in the 3D printing space. In recent months, the company spent hundreds of millions of dollars to acquire about three-fourths of the shares of two European makers of metal-based 3D printing equipment: Arcam (Mölndal, Sweden) and Concept Laser (Lichtenfels, Germany). Both Arcam and Concept Laser are active sellers in the medical device manufacturing space.
GE has also taken some other major steps to become a 3D printing force:
- GE has invested about $1.5 billion in additive manufacturing technologies work at its Global Research Center.
- GE has developed additive applications across six GE businesses.
- It also has earned 346 patents for powder metals for use in additive manufacturing.
- Last September, GE Ventures was part of an $81 million funding round for Carbon, maker of the pioneering M1 3D printer. Carbon’s proprietary CLIP technology, inspired by the T-1000 robot in Terminator 2, has objects rising before one’s eyes out of a pool of polymer resin.
[Want to stay more on top of MDO content? Subscribe to our weekly e-newsletter.]