GE Bracket Challenge

How we outperformed the winner by 49%

General Electric launched an additive manufacturing design challenge on GrabCAD to minimize the mass of a titanium jet engine lifting bracket. The competition generated over 700 entries globally. The contest was closed on Nov. 2013 but has remained as a global benchmark for the lightweighting of aircraft components. The original bracket GE to redesign weighed 2,033 grams. The winner was able to slash its weight by nearly 84% to just 327 grams.

We beat the winner by more than 10% in weight. And considering the design time and removal of all support structures, we would have beat him by 49% in cost.

Requirements for the competition

GE gave the participants real-life conditions to optimise their designs for lightweighting.

  • Geometry must fit within the original envelope.
  • Material: Ti-6Al-4V
  • Minimum wall thickness: 0.050 in.

Load Conditions

  • Max static linear load of 8,000 lbs vertical up and 8,500 lbs horizontal out.
  • Max static linear load of 9,500 lbs 42 degrees from vertical.
  • Max static torsional load of 5,000 lbs in horizontal at intersection of centerline of pin and midpoint between clevis arms.

Our Solution

Results compared to the Winner bracket

Print Mass (incl. supports)

-7%

Print Time

-7%

Material Cost

-7%

Engineering time

-64%

Post processing time

-80%

Total cost saving

-49%