Professor Xinhua Wu, Director of the Monash Centre for Additive Manufacturing discusses the 3D printed jet engine

Monash University researchers help to create 3D-printed jet engines

Monash University and Amaero Engineering researchers in conjunction with Deakin University and CSIRO, have successfully created the world’s first 3D printed jet engines.

he researchers have created two complete jet engines, one of which was recently displayed at the International Air Show in Victoria where the project has drawn interest from companies such as Airbus, Boeing and Raytheon

The manufacturing breakthrough could enable new prototypes to be created rapidly and at a large scale, as well as assisting with the creation of bespoke parts which cannot be created using existing manufacturing methods.

Monash have created a unique new material that enables the parts to be 3D-printed rather than the complex moulding processes normally required by jet engine parts. The parts of the engine are built using printers that spread a very thin layer of metal powder across a base plate. A high-powered laser then forms the required shape using a computer-generated outline. This process is repeated over and over again until the part is completed.

While the technology has thus far only been used to create jet engine parts, project leader Professor Ian Smith says that we could soon “see enormous applications in the biomedical industry.” In the not too distant future, the same principles involved in the creation of jet engines could be used to create specific body parts for car crash victims.

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