Airbus, Boeing and Raytheon have reportedly shown interest in an Australian 3D-printed jet engine technology that is said to transform the way aircraft are built.
Researchers from Monash University, aided by the Australian CSIRO and Deakin University, have printed two engines and displayed them at the International Air Show in Avalon, various media reported.
Researchers printed copies of an old gas turbine engine made by French firm Safran. The year-long process was led by Prof Xinhua Wu, the director of the Monash centre for additive manufacturing. Amaero Engineering, a spin-off company of Monash was involved in the project.
The aerospace and defense industry is expecting to achieve savings production time and cost using 3-D printing technology.
Monash created the parts of the engine using printers that spread a very thin layer of metal powder across a base plate. A laser then formed the required shape using a computer-generated outline. This process was repeated over and over again until the part was completed.
“The project is a spectacular proof of concept that’s leading to significant contracts with aerospace companies,” said Ben Batagol, of Amaero Engineering.