General Electric (GE) is asking the maker community to help crowd-source products by launching two global additive manufacturing quests, asking engineers and companies to participate in its 3D Printing Design/Production Quests for healthcare components and an aircraft engine bracket.
On the engine bracket side, the company issued a challenge to the GrabCAD community to design a 3D printable jet engine bracket, with the top 10 entries splitting a $30,000 purse. The company has also partnered with NineSigma for the healthcare challenge.
"GE is committed to leading the next manufacturing revolution through innovative hardware, material and process advancements," said Mark Little senior vice president and CTO at the GE Global Research Center. "This revolution depends on collaboration with external innovators and partners. These Quests will help us to convene and engage this community in meaningful ways and ultimately build an additive manufacturing ecosystem that scales the industry to new heights."
The first phase of both quests will be open from June 11 to July 26, 2013.
The 3D Printing Design Quest tasks participants to create the best 3D-printable design for an aircraft engine bracket. The top ten designs from the first phase will win $1,000 each and will be additively manufactured and tested by GE during phase two. The top eight designs in the second phase will be awarded from a total prize pool of $20,000.
The 3D Printing Production Quest asks participants to use 3D printing to produce precise and complex parts for application in medical imaging. Up to ten winners from the first phase will be awarded $5,000 and invited to participate in the second phase, which includes prototype fabrication with specified materials. Up to three winning prototypes will be awarded $50,000 each.
For more information, visit GrabCAD and NineSigma.
Sources: Press materials received from the company and additional information gleaned from the company's website.