Jetting off with 3D printing

At our Lab 22 additive manufacturing facility we've created components for the world's first 3D printed jet engine.

The Challenge

Long wait to build jet engines

Building jet engine components using traditional manufacturing processes typically takes between six months and two years.

Due to the rapid development of engine designs in the aviation industry, this can make it difficult for manufacturers to keep up with prototyping.

Our Response

Creating the world's first 3D printed jet engines

A team of scientists at our 3D printing facility Lab 22 have helped create the world's first 3D printed jet engines.

Monash University's Centre for Additive Manufacturing led the project in collaboration with Lab 22 researchers and Deakin University. The project was supported by funding from the Science Industry Endowment Fund

These engines aren't just remarkable because they've been 3D-printed, but because they were created 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 Results

Pushing the boundaries in 3D printing

The 3D-printed jet engines demonstrate that test parts can be produced in days instead of months. This could result in incredible benefits for the international aeronautical industry.

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.

3D Printing of a small Jet Engine: 3D Printing of a small Jet Engine - Monash Centre for Additive Manufacturing

Show transcript

[Opening screen: Caption 'Monash University' with logo]

[Cuts to airplane taking off]

[Cuts to various images: 3D printed jet engine, metal slab with MCAM (Monash Centre for Advanced Manufacturing), 3D printer creating metal sheet, table with engine designs and small 3D printed engine parts, lady standing over display model of 3D printed engine, lasy holding complex 3D printed sphere.

[Cuts to lady talking to camera. Caption on bottom of screen appears: Xinhua We, Director, Monash Centre for Additive Manufacturing]

[Xinhua We: Most of the jet engine components are very complex and take between 6 to 12 months to manufacture.

[Cuts to scientist in the lab]

[Xinhua We: The benefit of 3D printing is you can reduce this manufacturing time down to 1 to 2 weeks. Simple or complex, 3D printing doesn't care. It will produce it in the same time.

[Panning shot of the 3D printing facility and persons working on various machines]

[Xinhua We: I have worked in the aviation industry for 25 years with companies such as Rolls Royce, Safran Group and Airbus. MCAM is on of the world leading placed for 3D printing of airspace components. That will put us at the forefront of the international arena for 3D printing]

[Cuts to airplane taking off]

[Cuts to caption of 'Monash University' and logo']

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