World Economy

3-D Printed Plane Parts Boosting Arcam

3-D Printed Plane Parts Boosting Arcam 3-D Printed Plane Parts Boosting Arcam

Arcam AB Chief Executive Officer Magnus Rene says the Swedish maker of 3-D printers may soon have trouble keeping up with orders as airplane and engine makers start using the technology to make parts, Bloombrg reported. With General Electric Co., Pratt & Whitney Holdings LLC and Rolls Royce Holdings Plc as customers, Arcam is preparing for growth unforeseen when the Molndal, Sweden-based company was focused on the three-dimensional printing of medical implants like knee joints. “Two or three years ago, the question was whether the aerospace industry would start producing in this way,” Rene said in a telephone interview. “Now it’s just a question of when.” As the industry now races to use 3-D printing in order to make aircraft components lighter, GE Aviation has said it expects to print more than 100,000 parts for its jet engines by 2020. The US engine maker will use Arcam machines for production of light-weight turbine blades by 2018 at the very latest, Rene said. Arcam shares rose as much as 4 percent and were trading 2.5% higher at 167 kronor at 10:13 a.m. local time in Stockholm. The global market for 3-D printing, also known as additive manufacturing, grew to more than $4.1 billion in 2014 from $3 billion in 2013, according to a report from consultant Wohlers Associates. Less than half of the market is for commercial production of parts, with most printers still being used to make prototypes.