IMPERIAL, Pa. (AP) — A $39 million General Electric plant in suburban Pittsburgh is set to begin developing 3-D printing and other high-tech manufacturing processes.
The Center for Additive Technology Advancement, a 125,000-square-foot facility about 15 miles west of Pittsburgh in Findlay Township, will employ 50 high-tech engineers, company executives told reporters during an open house Tuesday.
Three dimensional printing refers to a process in which digital images are fed into a machine that can manufacture corresponding products out of plastic, metals or other materials. GE has used the process to create fuel nozzles for jet engine models.
Philippe Cochet, GE's chief productivity officer, said all eight of the company's manufacturing divisions will use the center to test new designs and ideas.
GE chose the location because Carnegie Mellon University, the University of Pittsburgh and Penn State University all have research programs devoted to 3-D printing and other advanced manufacturing technologies.
The Pittsburgh region could become an industry leader in additive manufacturing, GE Chief Executive Officer Jeff Immelt said.
"We think Pittsburgh has the chance to be one of the four or five destinations for advanced manufacturing," he said.