Forget 3-D Printing, Here Comes 3-D Inking From General Electric Company

3-D inking offers the potential to make products and components even smarter.

Apr 28, 2014 at 4:52PM

Although the 3-D printing craze has captivated investors' imaginations, a lesser-known technology called "direct write," or 3-D inking as General Electric (NYSE:GE) likes to call it, offers the potential to make products and components even smarter. On a high level, 3-D inking is technology that has been around for about 15 years and can print conductive inks in a highly intricate manner. One of the most common applications of 3-D inking today is in cell phone antennas. The video below, featuring General Electric global research division engineer James Yang, demonstrates the 3-D inking process.

Source: General Electric.

General Electric plans to turn 3-D inking into a manufacturing platform capable of printing sensors directly into products and components that undergo high stress and temperatures. With 3-D inking, components inside the harsh environment of a jet engine could one day be monitored for health and performance in ways not possible before, ultimately providing a better value and product for customers. Collectively, the data points gathered around these sorts of 3-D inking applications feed into a bigger vision at General Electric: The Industrial Internet.

On a high level, The Industrial Internet's goal is to make machines smarter by unlocking insights from greater data collection. 3-D inking is an excellent candidate for gathering this valuable data, which will likely pave the way for future product innovation.

In the following video, 3-D printing specialist Steve Heller asks Christine Furstoss, who heads ups General Electric's 3-D printing research division, about her thoughts on 3-D inking and how it may be used in the future.

Turning megatrends into megaprofits
The one sure way to get wealthy is to invest in a groundbreaking company that goes on to dominate a multibillion-dollar industry. Our analysts have found multi-bagger stocks time and again. And now they think they've done it again with three stock picks that they believe could generate the same type of phenomenal returns. They've revealed these picks in a new free report that you can download instantly by clicking here now.

Steve Heller has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of General Electric Company. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

4 in 5 Americans Are Ignoring Buffett's Warning

Don't be one of them.

Jun 12, 2015 at 5:01PM

Admitting fear is difficult.

So you can imagine how shocked I was to find out Warren Buffett recently told a select number of investors about the cutting-edge technology that's keeping him awake at night.

This past May, The Motley Fool sent 8 of its best stock analysts to Omaha, Nebraska to attend the Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholder meeting. CEO Warren Buffett and Vice Chairman Charlie Munger fielded questions for nearly 6 hours.
The catch was: Attendees weren't allowed to record any of it. No audio. No video. 

Our team of analysts wrote down every single word Buffett and Munger uttered. Over 16,000 words. But only two words stood out to me as I read the detailed transcript of the event: "Real threat."

That's how Buffett responded when asked about this emerging market that is already expected to be worth more than $2 trillion in the U.S. alone. Google has already put some of its best engineers behind the technology powering this trend. 

The amazing thing is, while Buffett may be nervous, the rest of us can invest in this new industry BEFORE the old money realizes what hit them.

KPMG advises we're "on the cusp of revolutionary change" coming much "sooner than you think."

Even one legendary MIT professor had to recant his position that the technology was "beyond the capability of computer science." (He recently confessed to The Wall Street Journal that he's now a believer and amazed "how quickly this technology caught on.")

Yet according to one J.D. Power and Associates survey, only 1 in 5 Americans are even interested in this technology, much less ready to invest in it. Needless to say, you haven't missed your window of opportunity. 

Think about how many amazing technologies you've watched soar to new heights while you kick yourself thinking, "I knew about that technology before everyone was talking about it, but I just sat on my hands." 

Don't let that happen again. This time, it should be your family telling you, "I can't believe you knew about and invested in that technology so early on."

That's why I hope you take just a few minutes to access the exclusive research our team of analysts has put together on this industry and the one stock positioned to capitalize on this major shift.

Click here to learn about this incredible technology before Buffett stops being scared and starts buying!

David Hanson owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway and American Express. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway, Google, and Coca-Cola.We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

©1995-2014 The Motley Fool. All rights reserved. | Privacy/Legal Information

Compare Brokers