Boeing celebrates opening of new 3D printing facility in Auburn

AUBURN, Wash. — Boeing celebrated the opening of a new facility in South King County on Friday.

Boeing’s Center of Additive Manufacturing Excellence in Auburn employs nearly 100 people running 3D printers making parts and components for aircraft.

The center has printers of all sizes, including one of the largest in the world.

3D printers make parts that can’t be made using traditional methods. The technology saves time, money and weight, which helps a plane’s fuel efficiency.

“The whole value stream has the traditional aspects and it also has the new aspects, so basically a technology that adds jobs,” said Boeing Vice President for Additive Manufacturing Dr. Melissa Orme.

Boeing executives say unionized workers run the machines and remove the support pieces the printers leave behind.

Workers still machine and wire the parts, and assemble them on the aircraft.

“We really want to train more people, hire more people,” Orme said. “It offers an exciting path to more innovation.”