Forbes reports on a breakthrough at the GE Additive Development Center. For the past two years, GE engineers there have been developing a 3D printed mini jet engine. Now it is complete.
These researchers used a 3D printing technique called DMLM, or ‘Direct Metal Laser Melting’, which melts “thin layers of metal powder one on top of each other to build each individual part of the engine. Once all the parts were manufactured, the engine was then assembled. The final product was about eight inches tall and a foot long.” The engine was even able to move at 33,000 rpms!
Terry Wohlers, Wohler’s and Associates’ 3D printing analyst, commented on the project: “this is much more than a stunt. It shows what’s possible with additive manufacturing and 3D printing technology, especially for very demanding applications. GE Aircraft will be producing tens of thousands of fuel nozzles by additive manufacturing for its new-generation LEAP engine in the coming months and years. Airbus has also produced complex metal additive manufactured parts that have flown on the new A350.”
Considering the news over the last few months, with 3D printing leaping and bounding beyond our stratosphere, GE’s project should come as no surprise. For 3D printing, it would appear the sky is no longer the limit.
Video Courtesy of GEreports
Photo and Quotes Courtesy of Forbes