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GE to Donate Metal and Plastic 3D Printers to Over 400 Schools

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More than 400 schools will receive 3D printers as a part of the GE Additive Education Program, reaching more than 180,000 students around the globe. Committed to developing pipelines of future talent in additive manufacturing around the world, GE will send a desktop polymer printer package to about 400 primary and secondary schools and a metal printing machine to eight colleges or universities.

A printer package for primary and secondary schools includes two Polar Cloud-enabled polymer printers – one Polar 3D printer and one XYZprinting printer. The package also includes Polar 3D’s STEAMtrax curriculum with a two-year license, six rolls of filament for each printer and one of the STEAMtrax module kits, “Tinkering with Turbines.” Students from countries across the globe will have access to these printer packages, including Canada, China, Germany, India, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States.

GE will provide the following eight schools a Concept Laser Mlab cusing 100R metal printing machine, with a market value of about $250,000 each, as a part of the first year of their Additive Education Program:

  • Auburn University
  • Boston University
  • Iowa State University
  • North Carolina State University
  • Ohio State University
  • University of Cincinnati
  • University of New South Wales
  • U.S. Naval Academy

GE created their Additive Education Program this past January, committing to invest $10 million globally over the next five years to develop pipelines of future talent in additive manufacturing. $8 million is designated to give metal additive machines to colleges and universities. Additionally, $2 million will provide desktop polymer printers to primary and secondary schools.

Enabling educational institutions to provide access to 3D printers will help accelerate the adoption of additive manufacturing, worldwide.

“Additive manufacturing and 3D printing is revolutionizing the way we think about designing and manufacturing products,” said Mohammad Ehteshami, Vice President of GE Additive. “We want a pipeline of engineering talent that have additive in their DNA. This education program is our way of supporting that goal.”

The response to the metal additive education program has been overwhelming, generating more than 250 applications from colleges and universities and more than 500 applications from primary and secondary schools around the world. A hand-picked team of GE specialists evaluated each school and made the final selections.

GE will deliver the printers to selected schools later this year and plans to provide machines to more schools each year over the next four years. The next application window will open during the first quarter of 2018 and will be announced on

GE has actively supported education for more than 100 years. GE’s efforts focus on areas that have the greatest impact and can improve outcomes for students. In the U.S. alone, GE has invested more than $225 million and thousands of hours to support public education.

Additive manufacturing, which is also known as 3D printing, involves taking digital designs from computer aided design (CAD) software, and laying horizontal cross-sections to manufacture the part. Essentially “grown” from the ground up, additive components generate far less scrap material and are typically lighter and more durable than traditional forged parts because they require less welding and machining. Freed of traditional manufacturing restrictions, additive manufacturing dramatically expands the design possibilities for engineers.

GE is a leading end-user and innovator in additive manufacturing. GE has invested approximately $1.5 billion in manufacturing and additive technologies developed additive applications across six GE businesses and is pioneering services applications across the company.

Late in 2016, GE signed an agreement to acquire a 75% stake in Concept Laser, a leading global supplier of additive manufacturing equipment, representing a key step in GE’s commitment to the additive revolution. In addition, GE concluded its tender offer for the shares of Arcam AB of Sweden, first initiated in September, and purchased 76.15% of the company.

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