ABOUT THE CHALLENGE
NineSigma, representing the General Electric Company (GE), seeks to identify entities with high end 3D printing or additive manufacturing capabilities for creation of complex parts with high precision. Such parts may eventually be used in medical imaging equipment or other products.
Participants in this competition vie for up to three US$50,000 cash prizes and may have the opportunity to collaborate with GE to produce customized parts that could be used in medical imaging equipment or other products.
In the first phase, participants complete the proposal template and submit it by July 26, 2013. Up to 10 of the most promising respondents will each receive a US$5000 cash prize and be invited to participate in the second phase.
In the second phase, Phase 1 Winners are invited to participate in Phase 2. Those who accept will receive a limited production budget of $5000 and 3 months to fabricate the part.
GE will evaluate all received prototypes for geometric precision, overall mass, overall volume, and other commercial considerations. GE will then select up to three prototypes whose submitters will each receive a $50,000 cash prize.
Deadline Extended to August 9, 2013
Submission June 11-July 31, 2013
Winners Announced Oct. 1, 2013
Submission Oct. 1, 2013 - Jan. 15, 2014
Winners Announced March 1, 2014
Successful respondents will be able to create parts that:
- Are made from high density, high atomic number metals, such as refractory metals and/or their alloys
- Have wall thicknesses down to 150 microns, with tolerances ±15 microns
- Precisely position walls 1mm apart, with tolerances ±25 microns
- Exhibit consistent, parallel walls, with little or no warpage across entire part
- Have a high density factor – as close as possible to the density of the bulk material
- Are able to withstand conditions that exert up to 80g’s of acceleration
Recent advances in additive manufacturing techniques and the materials used therein have broadened the scope of its potential applications. GE, a world leader in imaging applications, seeks to understand the current limits of state of the art 3D printing through a capabilities and technology challenge. Understanding current capabilities and helping to extend those limits can lead to new manufacturing processes while improving cost and efficiency.
Certain components of medical imaging equipment are challenging to fabricate. They must be made from high density, high atomic number metals, which can be difficult to shape. These parts frequently have complex geometries that must be rendered with very high precision. GE would like to manufacture such components through printing or additive processes.