Australian researchers on 26 February 2015 unveiled the world's first 3D-printed jet engine. This is the first of its kind 3D printed engine.
It was developed by a team of researchers from Monash Centre for Additive Manufacturing of Monash University in partnership with Amaero Engineering, the private company set up by Monash University to commercialize the product.
According to Amaero, these printed engines will flight tested within the next 12 months and will be certified for commercial use within the next two to three years.
Characteristic Features of the Jet Engine
• The jet engine was created using innovative additive manufacturing technique.
• In this additive manufacturing, the 3D printing machine uses a high-powered laser to fuse powdered nickel, titanium or aluminium into the shape of object.
• The engine will help engineers in making and testing parts of jet engines in days instead of months. It will also help engineers to manufacture cheaper, lighter and more fuel-efficient jet engines.
Significance of this development
The development of 3D printed jet engines is of great significance to the manufacturing sector of Australia, especially 3D printing market.
Australia has one of only three of the necessary large-format 3D metal printers in the world. France and Germany are the other two countries to have such printers.
Further, Australia is the only place that makes the materials for use in the machine and is also the world leader in terms of intellectual property (IP) regarding 3D printing for manufacturing.
Moreover, it is believed that Amaero is in talks with Boeing Co, Airbus Group NV, Raytheon Co and Safran to pay in part for the building of further large format printers, at a cost of around 3.5 million Australian dollars each (2.75 million US dollars), to ramp up the production of 3D jet engine components.
About 3D printing technology
When: 26 February 2015