FRANKFURT AM MAIN, Germany, Dec 10, 2021 – At formnext, GE Additive debuted its Amp cloud-based, process management software platform. It also announced limited release from mid-November 2021 of the first two modules; Print Model and Simulation & Compensation, for Concept Laser M2 machine users, with wider release planned for the second quarter of 2022.
Innovation Made for Additive Users, by Additive Users
“Our vision is simple. We want to make it as easy as possible for our customers to develop and 3D print parts quickly and efficiently. That way they can get to production and industrialization faster. Amp is the fourth pillar in GE Additive’s full solution along with machines, materials and services,” said Igal Kaptsan, general manager – software at GE Additive.
Amp leverages the knowledge of experts at GE Additive, GE Aviation and GE Global Research and takes best practices, learning and know-how from actual applications and incorporated them directly into an integrated software solution. Additive users can now move toward industrialization with a repeatable, consistent and streamlined process—to scale and transform their business.
“At GE we are in an enviable position of being both the largest user of metal additive technology, as well as being a manufacturer of machines and powders, so we understand first-hand the challenges other users face when industrializing metal additive. And, when we couldn’t find a software solution that met our needs and was easy to use, we created one. As we developed Amp my team has benefited from close collaboration with teams at GE Aviation and at GE Global Research – actual additive users working on an industrial scale – to get their perspective and invaluable feedback,” added Kaptsan.
Getting to production and industrialization faster
Developed and designed exclusively for GE Additive machine customers, Amp integrates the tools engineers need to manage, process and manufacture metal additive parts on one integrated platform. From development to print production, Amp offers a flexible, streamlined workflow so manufacturers can improve part production and significantly reduce trial and error needed to develop print-ready parts.
Amp breaks down the silos between CAD, build prep, simulation, compensation and inspection data to help improve part production. With centralized data, users can access tools that simulate how the manufacturing process unfolds in real time and see the estimates for cost and time for a part throughout the process.
Amp streamlines the process. It uses a single database that supports seamless data transition between one task and another. In addition to the database, Amp also incorporates the industrial knowledge, best practices and workflows, and time/cost analyses that GE has pioneered over the past decade.
Calculations for these tasks all depend heavily on the material and the additive machine being used. To produce an accurate simulation, today the problem faced by users is that they must enter information about the build, ranging from laser power and speed to powder size and distribution. Amp solves this problem by closely tying Amp to GE Additive’s own laser printers, initially the Concept Laser M2, then the M Line and Binder Jet solutions and eventually other laser and EBM systems. This way, Amp starts with precise information about printer parameters and capabilities.
By combining this with GE’s knowledge of material properties, Amp can offer “recipes” that have been pre-populated with all the parameters they need to print their part.
Amp will enable engineers to move through design and development faster. It will help them solve big problems, take on larger parts and make it easier to apply additive manufacturing to a broader range of parts.
Print Model Module
Amp’s Print Model module is designed to enhance the additive manufacturing effectiveness of GE Machines, starting with Concept Laser M2 Series 5 through a secure, intuitive tool that reduces design iterations and speeds up the time to print a good part, according to the design intent.
Benefits of Print Model include:
- Automate manual tasks. Based on real-world best practices, it simplifies the development process of printing parts. Examples: Automated Orientation, Support generation, Nesting, Labeling, Slicing, and Scan Path generation.
- Process tasks in the background. Cloud-based architecture allows the continuation of design work even when process intensive tasks are running in the background.
- Track pedigree. Tracks the relationships captured between various inputs and provides history of printed parts.
- Leverage CAD model. Clean data, no need for STL, no healing.
- Experience a single data-centric process: No saving out to other software tools, no learning separate interfaces, everything in one place.
- Capture known fail points: Notification of potential failure points flagged before print.
Simulation & Compensation Module
The typical 1:1 compensation method used lacks precision and results in too much trial and error. Traditional simulation tools require many input variables that additive engineers might not have access to and make the process more complex than it needs to be.
With Amp, users now no longer need to choose between trial and error or complex tools that only a few can readily understand. Using lessons learned after years of additive part development, GE Additive has streamlined the experience to help move companies toward industrialization faster and support experienced and new users with recommendations based on best practices.
Amp’s Simulation and Compensation module adds predictive capability to GE Additive machines, starting with the Concept Laser M2, builds by anticipating distortions, residual stresses, recoater interference and defects prior to manufacturing and applying corrections before launching production, reducing the lengthy and expensive trial and error process.
Benefits of the Amp Simulation & Compensation Module include:
- Easily add simulation to the additive process. The modules has been specifically created for design/manufacturing engineers. Reduced barrier for non-simulation experts
- A unified user experience. A seamless flow in one environment from Build Preparation to Simulation & Compensation. All interactions are saved for future needs
- Saves time. Users are able to digitally iterate until their design intent is achieved. Reduce manual processes and wasted resources from trial builds.
- Reduces costs associated with material and manpower. Users are able to get more parts through development and into production. Maximize number of previously impossible applications to print
Customer Testing & Wide Release
Both the Print Model and Simulation & Compensation modules are now available on limited release. GE Additive is inviting interested Concept Laser M2 customers to sign up for a free of charge, six-month trial period to test the Amp solution in a production environment.
“We know from our work on binder jet and M Line that this iterative, customer-centric approach works really well and helps us continuously improve Amp as we prepare for wider release in Q2 next year,” said Jeremy Harrington, vice president – business development, software at GE Additive.
About GE Additive
GE Additive – part of GE (NYSE: GE) is a world leader in metal additive design and manufacturing, a pioneering process that has the power and potential to transform businesses. Through our integrated offering of additive experts, advanced machines, and quality powders, we empower our customers to build innovative new products. Products that solve manufacturing challenges, improve business outcomes, and help change the world for the better. GE Additive includes additive machine brands Concept Laser and Arcam EBM, along with additive powder supplier AP&C. For more information, visit https://www.ge.com.