[vid source] ABC News – 3D printing radically improves and cost speed of development
Monash University and Amaero Engineering have collaborated with Deakin University & CSIRO on a project to create jet engines and their parts using 3D printing technology.
The manufacturing breakthrough not only allows for new prototypes to be created rapidly and on a large scale, but can also assist in the creation of bespoke parts which cannot be created using existing manufacturing methods.
Whereas previously, the materials needed to build jet engines needed to be melted, moulded and shaped, Monash have developed a method to not only create the unique material necessary for printing, but to actually print the parts themselves as well, using a high powered laser fusion device. Aerospace companies like Boeing and Airbus are already working with the group to create prototype parts.
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.
In the face of declining rates of manufacturing in the automotive and other industries, this new technology presents an opportunity regenerate existing industry, and create opportunities for new ones, which in turn helps to keep our economy strong.
[vid source] Monash University – 3D Printing of a small Jet Engine
[img source] Science in public