GE Aviation’s Morris recognized again for 3-D manufacturing work

Greg Morris of GE Aviation is being honored again by the aerospace and manufacturing industry for his work in industrializing additive manufacturing, also known as 3-D printing.

Morris, of Indian Hill, now GE Aviation’s general manager for additive technologies, was presented Thursday night the Aviation Week Laureate Award for Technology, according to the jet engine maker.

He was also recognized in 2014 by IndustryWeek as that publication’s Technology Leader of the Year. Morris, co-founder of additive manufacturer Morris Technologies Inc., was described by IndustryWeek as the “Unassuming King of 3-D Printing.”

3-D manufacturing is the process of creating a solid object from a digital file, with the computer file specifying the design and dimensions of a good. A machine is programmed to “print” layer upon layer of material until it grows the object from the bottom up. The “ink” in this kind of printer is a metal powder or plastic that is fused by laser and electron beams.

Morris, his brother Wendell Morris, and Bill Noack co-founded Morris Technologies in 1994 in Blue Ash to do rapid prototyping, now also referred to as 3-D printing. Morris Technologies worked with customers to build prototypes, molds and test products, eventually relocating to bigger space in Sharonville. As business grew, sister company Rapid Quality Manufacturing was started in 2007 in West Chester Twp. for 3-D printing production.

Morris Technologies introduced the first direct metal laser sintering machine to North America, allowing parts to be grown from advanced metal materials. When GE acquired Morris Technologies in 2012 and announced it would build a flying jet engine containing a fuel nozzle made using the additive process, it sent a message worldwide that 3-D manufacturing’s day has arrived, Travis Hessman, IndustryWeek’s associate editor for technology and innovation, told this newspaper last fall.

GE Aviation is less than a year away from launching its next all-new commercial jet engine to airline customers. The LEAP, a product of GE joint venture CFM International, will be the first commercial jet engine to contain an additively manufactured part (fuel nozzles) in a critical area as well as materials made from ceramic matrix composites.

“If you are looking for an inspirational story of how aviation can take a rapidly evolving commercial technology, apply it to the heart of an engine with an elegant and efficient design, and drive a massive investment in a totally new manufacturing capability, then that is the story of Greg Morris, General Electric and additive manufacturing,” said Aviation Week Editor-in-Chief Joe Anselmo in a provided written statement.

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