26 May 2015 |
World innovation news |
Materials & Manufacturing
General Electric Unveils the First Jet Engine Made Entirely by 3D Printing
The GE Aviation’s Additive Development Center reveals a functional jet engine made entirely of 3D-printed parts. The mini reactor rotates at more than 33,000 rotations per minute, measuring 20 centimeters in diameter (8.875 inches) and 30 centimeters long (12 inches).
They use Direct Laser Metal Melting (DLMM) printing method. This method fused thin metal layers thereby obtaining layer after layer the desired part.
The resistance of the parts obtained with this method is now comparable to product obtained by casting or forging techniques. Moreover, this process is fast, minimizes waste materials and permits to obtain complex geometries that just can’t be made any other way.
Demonstration in video:
This engine is not intended for sell and will never be in real planes, but it gives an overview of General Electric’s ambitions in this area. GE is the world’s largest user of additive technologies in metals.
GE Aviation has invested $50 million US and expects to produce 100,000 parts via additive manufacturing by 2020, particularly for new LEAP engines, but also to modernize 400 GE90 engines installed on Boeing 777.
“At ÉTS, we are the only University in Quebec to have similar equipment as GE,” tells Vladimir Brailovski, who holds the ÉTS Research Chair on Engineering of Processing, Materials and Structures for Additive Manufacturing
To learn more about this ÉTS Research Chair: click here