LOUISVILLE, KY. (WDRB) -- General Electric is speeding up the way it develops new products.  A Rapid Prototyping Center that just opened at Appliance Park is key to the process.

A 3-D printing machine can quickly create prototypes of new designs, from a fabric softener dispenser for a new topload washer, to grates for gas ranges.

Before, it could be very costly and take months to complete.  Now it speeds up the process while saving money.

Scott Welham, General Manager of Advanced Development, said Thursday, "If I can do multiple, I can not only design it for the customer, I can also get product optimization, but I can design it for manufacturing so I can now make it, show it to the manufacturing guys, and they say we can't make it that way and we can make adjustments that meet it."

Officials say this process reduces part development time by an average of 80 percent.

Copyright 2013 WDRB News.  All rights reserved.