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MAN Diesel & Turbo has started to equip first products with components made by 3D printing. After a decade of research and development by the company this means a significant step forward: Additive manufacturing (or 3D printing) enters serial production for such a sophisticated product like gas turbines. The future technology of 3D printing allows to offer customers even better products.
Approval for serial production
Additive manufacturing offers huge potential for MAN Diesel & Turbo's product range, especially when it comes to the production of gas turbine components. Additively manufactured guide vane segments that are now incorporated into MAN gas turbines of the MGT6100 series have proven particularly suitable. The approval for serial production is the result of intense preparation as well as cooperation with highly specialized suppliers and development partners such as the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology.
Additive manufacturing, also known as 3D printing, covers a range of innovative production processes, the potential of which is currently being investigated and developed in various industries, including machine and vehicle manufacturing, the aerospace industry and medical technology. As well as plastic materials, there are now also processes which enable 3D printing based on metallic materials. Examples include Selective Laser Melting (SLM) and Electron Beam Melting (EBM). Depending on factors such as lot sizes and material costs, these open up numerous benefits over conventional production processes along the whole value chain of a product – from development and production through to maintenance and service.