Engineers from the universities of Monash and Deakin along with scientists from The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) are credited to have constructed 2 3D-printed gas turbine jet engine which resulted in what is being touted as a world-first breakthrough in advanced manufacturing opportunities.
Xinhua Wu of the Monash Centre for Additive Manufacturing says in a statement she released last Thursday that the entire process of taking apart and having the components scanned was painstakingly complex and took a better part of a year to complete.
The engine, modeled after an auxiliary power unit the likes of which are used in aircrafts such as the French business jet, the Falcon 20, is considered as the first “proof of concept” that could take 3D printing technology out of obscurity and into the technological spotlight. Additionally, the scientists are confident that the world-first breakthrough could lead to more advanced manufacturing work in Australia and in fact has already created opportunities for local firms.
Ben Batagol from Amaero Engineers, the Monash University company that is making the technology available to the local Australian industry said, “No one has printed an entire engine commercially yet.”
“The project is a spectacular proof of concept that is leading to significant contracts with aerospace companies,” Mr. Batagol then added.
One of the printed engines is currently being displayed in France while the other one can be seen on display at the Avalan International Airshow in Victoria.
General Electric and Boeing have both expressed interest in 3D printing technology which utilizes lasers to print objects from metals or plastics rendered from a digital design. Computer giant Hewlett-Packard has made an announcement that it will release an ultra-fast 3D printer to the consumer market by 2016.