Reducing Greenhouse Emissions with 3D Printing

Climate change is a serious threat. Individuals and corporations are all required to make significant efforts and come up with innovative and powerful ideas to prevent the catastrophic consequences that our planet could face.

GE, one of the companies that are committed to the cause, recently thought of a way to possibly reduce emission, and that likely involves 3D printing.

The company, which has been focusing on the use of metal 3D printing in a couple of select industries, recently stated that the new, unusual designs achievable with additive manufacturing processes allowed them to improve the efficiency of gas turbines used to generate electricity.

As they recently explained, now the technology is moving deeper into the hot belly of the industry — inside power plants, where it’s helping utilities generate more electricity and reduce emissions.

Guy Deleonardo, executive product manager for gas turbines at GE Power’s Gas Power Systems business says that in the past, it took GE up to a decade to move the efficiency of a turbine up a single percentage point. But with 3D printing at the company’s disposal, the time can now be counted in just years. That’s because the technology enables designers to quickly manufacture prototypes, test them, tweak their design and hit print again.

These are clearly first steps, but they give us reason to believe that as advanced manufacturing technologies become more widely adopted and engineering and design skills continue to evolve, we will be able to find greener solutions and make our planet healthier.