Mechanism

Creativity with ROI Advertising? Email info@mechanism.com for more information

General Motors Prints Functional Miniature Jet Engine

Very few companies in the manufacturing sector have embraced the use of industrial strength 3D printers for manufacturing technology. The large manufacturing companies are drawn towards 3D printers for the unprecedented customization and the unique prototyping abilities they have. However, in the past year, this has slowly been changing. More companies are starting to experiment and work with 3D printers in their industry to increase production and recycle products. 

Recently, one of America’s big giants, General Electric, has just printed a fully functional miniature jet engine using their 3D printer. According to Jeff Immelt, chief executive of General Electric, the 3D printing technology is making manufacturing ‘sexy again’. Furthermore, President Obama has to agree that the new 3D technology has the ‘potential to revolutionize the way we make everything’. 

GE is one of the well established giants of the industry that is fully embracing the new 3D printing technology. Today, GE uses the new technology to construct fuel nozzles for its LEAP jet engines. The new fuel nozzle could actually be used on aircrafts this coming year.

GE’s Additive Development Center engineer, David Bartosik, and his team designed a fully functional miniature jet engine for a radio-controlled airplane. This demonstrates GE’s commitment to 3D printing. Bartosik team redesigned an RC engine using a 3D printer EOS M270. The miniature jet engine was tested in an Aviation test chamber, where the engine achieved speeds up to 33,000 RPMs. 

Rick Kennedy, the aviation spokesman for GE, said that 3D printing is especially suitable for manufacturing highly sophisticated parts that otherwise would be difficult using conventional ways. He went on to say, ‘that in case of jet engines, it is absolutely understandable that every part has to work properly’. 

Kennedy said that the new 3D printer technology offers the necessary level of precision needed to fabricate the engine parts. Furthermore, the technology allows GE to achieve complex geometries usually unattainable in conventions manufacturing. Therefore, the technology allows GE to work with high-temperatures, high-strength alloys that aren’t accessible in conventional manufacturing. The new printed parts have up to five times more durability, and fewer parts than traditionally manufactured parts. The manufactured nozzles have 20 individual parts, where the 3D printed nozzles are produced in a single entity. 

GE feels when it comes to producing jet parts, only the best is good enough and nothing else will do. GE only relies on the EOS M270 3D printer that uses Direct Metal Laser Sintering technology for manufacturing their jet engine parts. The printer has 200-watt laser to melt ultra-thin layers of metal powders together.

Understand, this doesn’t mean that all jet engines will be completely manufactured using 3D printer technology in the future, but what it does mean is that GE is dedicated to the new revolutionary manufacturing technology. Next year 3D printed nozzles will be featured on aircraft and what can we expect next? Kennedy said that you can expect to see 3D printed components in the next few years.

Image: http://cdn2.geready.com/

Ann Johnston

About Ann Johnston

Ann enjoys writing, reading, gardening, fishing and the great outdoors. Her job has allowed her to travel and live in different countries. She enjoys studying and learning about different cultures.

Ann Johnston

Top Posts | Manufacturing

Could Everyone Have a 3D Printer in the Future?

These days, everyone must have heard something about 3D printing  (also known as additive manufacturing). This technology is generally considered to be one of the scientific breakthroughs of the 21st century, although it was initially invented in the 1980s.  A 3D printer is really a kind ... ...

The US Army's Newest Project: Hoverbikes

The Department of Defense has recently signed a contract with Malloy Aeronautics, a London-based company, to develop hoverbikes for the US Army. Over the last few years, Malloy Aeronautics has been developing a prototype hoverbike. Recently Malloy used Kickstarter to raise funds to continue with th ...

Samsung Could Revolutionize Road Safety

Although Samsung is not renowned for its contributions to the motor vehicle industry, it would seem that the tech giant is actually quite adamant on improving the safety on our roads. The company recently introduced a road safety vehicle called the Samsung Safety Truck, which basically equips ... ...

Is My Doctor a Robot?

It seems as though engineering a robotic solution for just about anything comes easily for Japan. One of the big issues the country currently faces is a rapidly aging population. The last few years have seen Japan's birth rate undergo a steady decline. Last year it reached a record low wit ... ...

NASA Unveils Driverless Car

NASA is all set to unveil its own driverless car. The organization recently released a video showcasing its new robotic vehicle which is self driven. It's one of the most awaited cars with features that will blow your mind away. This self driven car can independently operate without any person ... ...

3D Printing Hailed as the Environmental Saviour

A recent study by Michigan Tech University claims that the latest craze of home 3D printing could actually help to save the planet.Apparently, creating products using 3D print technology uses around 64% less energy than traditional manufacturing processes.  There’s also the massive carbo ... ...

General Motors Prints Functional Miniature Jet Engine

Very few companies in the manufacturing sector have embraced the use of industrial strength 3D printers for manufacturing technology. The large manufacturing companies are drawn towards 3D printers for the unprecedented customization and the unique prototyping abilities they have. However, in the p ...