The Advanced Casting Cell is a groundbreaking advancement in 3D printing technology, as highlighted in the article by


Revolutionizing Clean Power with Advanced Casting Cell Technology

GE Research and voxeljet have recently partnered under the U.S. Department of Energy’s funding to develop a groundbreaking solution in the clean power-generation industry. The result of this collaboration is the Advanced Casting Cell (ACC), a state-of-the-art large sand binder jet 3D printer that aims to boost domestic manufacturing of large metallic near net shape components, aligning with the U.S. strategy for clean power-generation.

In addition to GE Research and voxeljet, this innovative initiative also involves GE Hydro, GE Onshore Wind, GE Offshore Wind, Clemson University, ORNL, and Hodge Foundry, making it a collective effort to drive advancements in the clean energy sector.

The ACC’s main objective is to produce sand molds, leveraging 3D printing technology. These molds will be utilized to create metallic components, with a particular focus on the nacelle of the GE Haliade-X Offshore Turbine. By integrating this revolutionary process, manufacturing time for these wind turbine components could be reduced from the current ten weeks to an astonishing two weeks. This significant reduction in production time emphasizes the potential market impact of this technology. According to market projections, the wind turbine nacelle market is expected to surpass $15 billion by 2029, from a valuation of $6.6 billion in 2021.

Dr. Ingo Ederer, CEO of voxeljet, expressed excitement about being part of this forward-thinking and innovative project. He emphasized the importance of developing and cost-efficiently manufacturing clean power-generation technologies to address global climate challenges. Dr. Ederer believes that additive manufacturing, specifically their large-scale Binder Jetting technology, is the perfect choice for manufacturing complex parts used in the next generation of wind turbines.

Introducing the ACC could potentially reduce hydropower costs by a remarkable 20% while also decreasing lead times by four months. This transformational initiative also includes optimizing a 16-ton rotor hub and implementing a robotic welding procedure for a >10-ton Francis runner. Moreover, a specialized advanced manufacturing curriculum is being developed to enhance the skills of the local workforce in 3D printing techniques.

We invite you to share your thoughts and insights on this game-changing project. Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to join the discussion. Don’t forget to subscribe to our weekly additive manufacturing newsletter, ensuring that you receive all the latest stories directly in your inbox.

Together, we can revolutionize the clean power-generation industry and drive progress towards a more sustainable future.

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“Why did the 3D printer go to therapy? Because it had too many layers of unresolved issues!”

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