3D printing is really taking off. Image: Monash Centre for Additive Manufacturing
Deep in the bowels of our Lab 22 manufacturing facility in Clayton, Melbourne, we’ve created something extraordinary – components for the world’s first 3D printed jet engine.
These engines aren’t just remarkable because they’ve been 3D-printed, but because they were created by using a range of different additive manufacturing technologies and successfully combined into a finished product that wouldn’t otherwise have been possible.
We used our Arcam Electron Beam Melting printer in combination with cold spray technology to produce a range of components for the engines, which also used a new titanium metal powder we developed that performs better than previously used products, and is also cheaper to use.
The 3D-printed jet engines (one was featured at the International Air Show in Avalon) prove that test parts can be produced in days instead of months. This could result in incredible benefits for the international aeronautical industry.
Here’s a video produced by the team at Monash that shows the process behind the printing.
Monash University’s Centre for Additive Manufacturing led the project in collaboration with our Lab 22 researchers and Deakin University. The project was supported by funding from the Science Industry Endowment Fund (SIEF).
SEIF is a Fund that strategically invests in scientific research for the national benefit – helping Australian industry, furthering the interests of the Australian community or contributing to the achievement of Australian national objectives. The fund supports collaborative partnerships between scientific, research and tertiary institutions, with an emphasis on exchange of scientific knowledge and ideas.
As we continue to expand our range of additive manufacturing machines at Lab 22, we’re able to further push the boundaries by developing new techniques that harness the expanded commercial and technical capabilities available.
Projects like this are helping put us at the forefront of the global aerospace industry and attract the attention of international companies looking to create stronger ties with Australian manufacturing.
The jet engine adds to a growing list of amazing things we’ve done with additive manufacturing such as custom made heels, mouthguards, horseshoes, bikes and of course dragons.