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alisoncc
26th Feb 2015, 03:32
Local new in Oz reporting success in 3D printing a jet engine !!!!

3D printing: Australian researchers create jet engine, breakthrough captures attention of Airbus and Boeing - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) (http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-02-26/australian-researchers-create-first-3d-jet-engine/6262462)

http://www.abc.net.au/news/image/6262322-3x2-700x467.jpg

Didn't think plastic engines had a very long operational life. The last ones I got up close to and personal had titanium blades. Not something easily squeezed out of a bubble jet printer. Reckon it's got to be a con, so posted here in JB.

rjtjrt
26th Feb 2015, 04:24
Not plastic apparently, but the method where metal is fused with a laser in layers on a printer to make the item.
From the article "Technically known as additive manufacturing, the machine uses a high-powered laser to fuse powdered nickel, titanium or aluminium into the shape of objects."
I know very little about it.

Bushfiva
26th Feb 2015, 04:24
GE's been printing GE9X blades for a while. Doesn't Boeing have some Eosint kit?

megan
26th Feb 2015, 04:25
Not a con, internal jet engine parts are already being manufactured by the process.

How it works

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gu6m7y3cKZc

fujii
26th Feb 2015, 04:26
No, it is real. A little research before posting may be in order.

MG23
26th Feb 2015, 04:50
Excellent. Now our 3D-printed drones can have 3D-printed jet engines.

(OK, in twenty years when these things are cheap enough for home use)

atakacs
26th Feb 2015, 05:06
You can 3D print in pretty much any material.
The real questions are about the mechanical properties of the resulting object and the economics of the whole process. But perfectly feasible!

Jetex_Jim
26th Feb 2015, 05:10
No, it is real. A little research before posting may be in order.

Lighten up, this is Jet Blast not the Times letters page.

ShyTorque
26th Feb 2015, 06:45
No, it is real. A little research before posting may be in order.

If folks did that, this website would be mostly redundant. :hmm:

Sallyann1234
26th Feb 2015, 09:14
I hear a certain Irish airline has started 3D printing pilots.

Capot
26th Feb 2015, 14:42
That's ridiculous; all the pilots I know are 2-dimensional.

Isn't "3D printing" pretty much the same as "computer-controlled manufacturing", using a process that builds up the material in a certain way to produce the finished object?

ORAC
26th Feb 2015, 15:01
Direct metal laser sintering (http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Direct_metal_laser_sintering)

hoofie
27th Feb 2015, 05:23
Here is a better picture of the parts:

https://i.ytimg.com/vi/nCcK-XSuaHs/sddefault.jpg

I presume the sintering process results in objects with the appropriate protection against heat and stress.

A very interesting development considering how expensive it is to machine the parts from castings etc.

Flying Binghi
27th Feb 2015, 05:29
Is that a weld line i see on the exorst section ?

chuboy
27th Feb 2015, 05:42
Could be. They were given a real jet engine and told to reproduce it. Perhaps they printed the weld line as well, to make for a true replica :}

onetrack
27th Feb 2015, 05:59
I would hazard a guess a few machinists would be getting nervous about the future of their positions within a few short years. Not that todays machinists do any more than select the correct CNC card for the part to be produced. :(

So .. on this basis, are we likely to see a revisit of "Flight of the Phoenix"? - where some gung-ho survivors of a crashed jet, fire up their laser printer, build a new wing and tail section and a new engine from some bags of powdered metal they just conveniently happened to be carrying? - and we watch them fly successfully back to civilisation?? :)

alisoncc
27th Feb 2015, 07:13
Wouldn't have half made a difference when flying in TPNG and Africa if there had a been a 3D printer and computer onboard. Often having to "patch" parts to enable exit from some scruffy strip. Now just dial in the required part, wait a few minutes, fit new part and continue flight.

ian16th
27th Feb 2015, 07:56
The partnership between Monash University and spin-out company Amaero Engineering has captured the attention of Airbus, Boeing and defence contractor Raytheon.Are the airframe makers trying to bypass the engine makers?

Does this mean that the companies that should really be worried are RR, GE and P&W?

ORAC
27th Feb 2015, 08:26
The technology is equally applicable to airframe parts.

In one example a complex shaped part needed to be constructed from over 100 components and their fasteners. The sintered single piece replacement not only reduced cost and manufacturing time by a couple of factors - but reduced the final weight by 84%..........

cattletruck
27th Feb 2015, 09:22
I'm totally unfamiliar with the process, but being based on digital methods does it suffer from pixilation issues?

Does the final product require a little bit of manual smoothing down?

Groundloop
27th Feb 2015, 10:17
Is there much demand for centrifugal flow engines these days (PT-6 excepted)?

Lon More
27th Feb 2015, 10:18
will they take a 3D printed cheque for one?

ORAC
27th Feb 2015, 10:26
Is there much demand for centrifugal flow engines these days (PT-6 excepted)?Williams FJ44 (http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Williams_FJ44)

megan
28th Feb 2015, 00:42
An Airbus 3D printed part for a wing in the foreground replacing that in the background.

http://solidsmack.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/airbus-parts.jpg

Press release | Airbus, a leading aircraft manufacturer (http://www.airbus.com/presscentre/pressreleases/press-release-detail/detail/printing-the-future-airbus-expands-its-applications-of-the-revolutionary-additive-layer-manufacturi/)

tdracer
28th Feb 2015, 01:49
3d printing will revolutionize manufacturing in the not to distant future. It's still early, but most aspects of 3d printing stand to benefit from Moore's Law, meaning it will become cheaper and more powerful at a rapid rate. It's still limited as to the materials that it can readily use, but they are expanding fast. And once you get a part right, you can make as many as you want, exactly alike - and with a few keystrokes, the part can be upscaled/downscaled at will.
One of the more intriguing aspects it that future manned missions outside of earth orbit would not require massive spares or redundant systems - a 3d printer could produce the necessary parts to repair most anything thing that might fail on a multi year mission :8
"Simple" parts, such as wing skins, will still be easier to produce conventionally, but within 10 or 20 years I suspect we'll see many complex parts come out of printers rather than forges/castings/machining.


BTW, centrifugal flow turbine engines are currently the mainstay for APU's, and I don't see that changing anytime soon. As a professor of mine commented many decades ago, when a turbine engine gets below a certain size, you either go centrifugal, or you need watchmakers to put the axial thing together :E

MarcK
28th Feb 2015, 02:22
One of the more intriguing aspects it that future manned missions outside of earth orbit would not require massive spares or redundant systems - a 3d printer could produce the necessary parts to repair most anything thing that might fail on a multi year mission
I've been trying to consider just how you would orient a 3D printer where there is no gravity. Laser melting would make quite a splash.

B Fraser
28th Feb 2015, 07:32
At the last Farnborough, I was shown a 3d printed heat exchanger. It had been sectioned to show the exquisite internal structure. Castings can be printed but not forgings.

tartare
28th Feb 2015, 07:47
Brilliant!
One is looking forward to being able to 3D print one's own Gulfstream.
Just like that Johnny Cash song - about the guy who built the Cadillac.
In all seriousness though - it's quite amazing looking at this and the sort of techniques Lockheed are using.
Video on the new Skunk Works site of them using this hangar-sized carbon fibre tape laying machine to sinter tape and build up an airframe layer by layer - can't find it at the moment, but I'll repost if I do.
It looked like they were building one of those Polecat drone prototype things.

finncapt
28th Feb 2015, 08:36
If anyones interested, I visit a site (www.reprap.org) which discusses various 3d printers.

They have a very active forum.

I am particularly interested in the Delta designs which utilise spherical coordinates.

I am thinking of getting one to waste away those cold winter days when it is minus a lot!!

Avtrician
28th Feb 2015, 12:03
I have heard of a complete car engine being printed (model there of) in one piece. Apparently on completion the motor was able to be turned over by hand. I guess that would be the end of the home mechanic...

Or could you download pirated copies of the engine CAD drawings and print a replacement...

BOING
28th Feb 2015, 14:17
There is also an intermediate process whereby a 3D shape is produced in a wax type material that is then used as a "core" to produce a mold for casting the final shape in steel or other metal.

This is exactly the age old "lost wax" process used to cast jewellery except that the wax core is produced by a 3D printer instead of by hand and the metal casting process is more sophisticated.

The resulting cast item has strength equal to a machined part but it can be much more complex in shape. This is now a common and accepted manufacturing technology and the Airbus part shown above could easily have been made by this process, arguably with greater strength and less cost.

airship
28th Feb 2015, 15:27
It's all very well having a 3D printer (and being able to "print" with increasingly exotic materials), but what about 3D scanners?

At least when it comes to "home and small business" users. The generalised and all too utopian view that we'll all soon be able to simply and easily "print" all sorts of useful objects is severely limited by requiring a suitable "model" from which the object can be reproduced. Either in the form of a datafile containing all the instructions needed by the 3D printer or a 3D scanning device which can obtain all the necessary data from a real object.

I'm assuming that most folks don't have very expensive and suitable tomographic (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tomography) scanning devices at their disposal. And the manufacturers / designers etc. of the original part or assembly will usually not be willing to have their costly designs available on a web-server for general download to all and sundry.

PS. My own particular interest in 3D printing technology is limited to researching the possiblity of reproducing a life-sized silicone composite sex-doll of Meg Ryan (aged 20-30). :O

Kitbag
28th Feb 2015, 16:03
Why on earth would you wish to use tomographic techniques; way too much unneccesary detail, hence massively expensive, far more affordable and portable too would be this type of scanner (http://www.3rdtech.com/DeltaSphereannouncement.htm), probably pick one up on an online auction site quite a bit cheaper than the normal list price.

abgd
28th Feb 2015, 16:34
I also spent a while chatting to people at Farnborough about it. The metal parts were as strong as castings but could be much more intricate. But they weren't cheap or fast and you'd need prices to come down several orders of magnitude before you'd think about printing something like a fuselage skin.

airship
28th Feb 2015, 17:47
Kitbag wrote: Why on earth would you wish to use tomographic techniques; way too much unneccesary detail, hence massively expensive, far more affordable and portable too would be this type of scanner (http://www.3rdtech.com/DeltaSphereannouncement.htm), probably pick one up on an online auction site quite a bit cheaper than the normal list price.

Very good example of what's required... :rolleyes: One of us is confused here. :confused: :)

BOING
1st Mar 2015, 00:24
The problem is not actually scanning the part, that is "relatively" simple. The problem is converting the mass of scan data into a form that can be used by a 3D printer. This requires lots of computing power (relatively easy) and sophisticated software costing $20,000 plus for a starter system.

Fishtailed
1st Mar 2015, 00:50
It took me ages to get my head round how a single cylinder piston engine (which rotated) was made in ALM, but I finally figured it out, ( you have to think two dimensionally, believe it or not!) This technology is part of the future, but we will always need a bloke (or blokess) who can operate a lathe and milling machine to make something out of their head for development. 3D printers in the home are way off what is now in industry.

fleigle
1st Mar 2015, 01:57
B Fraser,
Sorry, but I'm a bit confused by your statement "Castings can be printed but not forgings."
Surely a Casting is a shape formed by a poured liquid.
A Forging is finally shaped by heat and pressure.
A Printed part is made by sintering, or similar ... they are all different processes.
f

james ozzie
1st Mar 2015, 06:14
cattletruck asked:

"I'm totally unfamiliar with the process, but being based on digital methods does it suffer from pixilation issues?"

I saw this thing last week and spoke to the makers. Apparently the resolution limit of the print head is 20 microns hence sheeny appearance. I understand that at the University of Adelaide they can go down to 5 microns. I guess you could polish it further? Or electroplate/polish?

If you can use AutoCAD in 3 dimensions, the ACAD model is converted via a simple file conversion to a format suitable for the printer. You can select the resolution limit in the file conversion. Dead easy, even I managed to do it. But some of the shapes will require very good drawing skills to create the ACAD model. (can you imagine trying to accurately draw a curved turbine blade? Also saw a combustion chamber fuel spraying nozzle - it looked nearly impossible to draw in 3D, but obviously had been done)

The drawing office is now on notice for "drafting errors"!

abgd
1st Mar 2015, 08:37
fleigle - I think the issue is that the strength of the printed part will be equivalent to a cast part, so if you have a CAD file for a part that is normally cast you can just print it - no redesign necessary. But if you were to print a copy of a part that is normally forged or machined from forged stock, the printed part will be considerably weaker. Fine for checking the fit perhaps, but not a functional substitute.

The parts that excited me were printed trabecular structures (i.e. bone-like) which were unlike anything you could cast or fabricate.

Turbine D
1st Mar 2015, 14:43
These will be in the LEAP engines for the new A-320 & B-737 aircraft when certified in the coming year/years.
The 3D-printed LEAP fuel nozzle, shown below, is five times more durable than the previous model, and 25 percent lighter. Additive manufacturing allowed engineers to reduce the number of individual pieces that were brazed and welded together from 20 to just one part, and achieve the best fuel flow geometry. The nozzles are made by Advanced Atomization Technologies, a joint venture between GE and Parker Aerospace.

http://i1166.photobucket.com/albums/q609/DaveK72/tumblr_inline_nf7bcwNkrH1qzgziy_zpsnbfyw2fj.jpg (http://s1166.photobucket.com/user/DaveK72/media/tumblr_inline_nf7bcwNkrH1qzgziy_zpsnbfyw2fj.jpg.html)
A 3D-printed fuel nozzle for the LEAP. Image credit: CFM International

BOING
1st Mar 2015, 15:12
Turbine D
Your post raises an interesting question regarding parts cost and replacement.

If the unit is made as one part presumably the whole unit needs to be replaced for maintenance. Prior to this design there was probably a nozzle sub-assembly that could be replaced as required at relatively low cost, now the whole one piece nozzle assembly must be replaced. Is this a situation similar to the ones met in modern appliances where the whole multi-dollar unit must be replaced at great difficulty and cost instead of the specific worn part costing a few cents? I take your point about increased durability but over the life of the engine will repair costs increase or decrease due to "unibody" construction?

It seems the manufacturer my benefit from this thinking in terms of reduced manufacturing costs and lighter weight, hence more attractive product cost, but will the customer's long term expenses be effected the same way?

.

ORAC
1st Mar 2015, 15:36
This Electron Gun Builds Jet Engines (http://www.gereports.com/post/94658699280/this-electron-gun-builds-jet-engines)

Engineers at the Italian aerospace company Avio have developed a breakthrough process for 3D printing light-weight metal blades for jet engine turbines.

The method builds the blades from a titanium powder fused with a beam of electrons accelerated by an electron gun several times more powerful than lasers currently used for printing metal parts. The tool allows Avio, which is part of GE Aviation, to build blades from layers of powder that are more than four times thicker than those used by laser-powered 3D printers. “This is very competitive with casting, which is how we used to make them,” says Mauro Varetti, advanced manufacturing engineer at Avio..........

ANALYSIS: GE ponders 3D printing for GE9X turbine blade (http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/analysis-ge-ponders-3d-printing-for-ge9x-turbine-blade-401898/)

MG23
1st Mar 2015, 17:24
I've been trying to consider just how you would orient a 3D printer where there is no gravity. Laser melting would make quite a splash.

I've wondered that too. There is a 3D printer on the space station, but it's only producing plastic parts right now.

Ultimately, this technology will probably be required for long-term life in space; you don't want to be shipping spare parts from Earth to Mars when something goes wrong.

Windy Militant
1st Mar 2015, 17:33
Why on earth would you wish to use tomographic techniques;
About fifteen years ago I was shown a polymer model of a skull at Queens University Belfast, it had been grow using a Laser polymer bath technique. They had taken a CAT or MRI scan of a patient with a brain tumour and used this DATA to make a number of models so the surgeons could then try out different methods of getting at the tumour before deciding on the best one for the procedure.
This technique has now grown from this, and now parts are made for joint replacements, heart valves and a myriad other items. Just Goggle medical 3D printing.
They are also mastering growing items to get the "grain" of the material running the right way to give the necessary strength in the component.
I believe that they are also working on "green" items that can be heat treated and then put into drop forges to save on the pre-processing, yet ending up with the desired properties at the end of the process.

Edited to add I hope that those taking 3D printers into space take two and definitely make sure that they have more reliable printers than the ones in our office which usually go on strike at the same time. :uhoh:

Turbine D
2nd Mar 2015, 00:59
Original posting by BOING If the unit is made as one part presumably the whole unit needs to be replaced for maintenance. Prior to this design there was probably a nozzle sub-assembly that could be replaced as required at relatively low cost, now the whole one piece nozzle assembly must be replaced. Is this a situation similar to the ones met in modern appliances where the whole multi-dollar unit must be replaced at great difficulty and cost instead of the specific worn part costing a few cents? I take your point about increased durability but over the life of the engine will repair costs increase or decrease due to "unibody" construction?
Not necessarily. I spent part of my career figuring out how to produce one piece components in place of ones that were produced from as many as 40 or 50 individual components welded and/or brazed together. In many instances, the weight savings and ultimate fuel savings alone overcame any cost to repair or if badly damaged, replacement cost. Not only was it a cost savings for the engine manufacturer, it was a cost savings for the airline customer.

The words about the fuel nozzle are CFM's words, but that was my experience on nearly all of the one piece components developed during my career.