Melbourne’s Monash University and AMAERO Engineering have made the ranks with the world’s first 3D printed jet engine. The project began when the French aerospace company donated an old-but-still-functioning auxiliary powered gas turbine engine to the university, where it was pulled apart as powdered form of metals and synthesized together using a laser, a process known as additive manufacturing (Mashable). A Concept Laser Xline 1000R 3D printer -which has the build envelope of 600x400x500mm, making it one of the largest 3D printers in the world- was used to construct parts of the engine (3dprint.com).
With that kind of printer, they can prototype metal parts for other industries, which is possibly why the team plans of expanding their work to other sectors such as medical and biotechnology. Already garnering the interest of global aviation firms such as Boeing, Airbus and defense manufacturer Raytheon, the success of the concept and further manufacturing could reduce R&D time and costs, create a lighter engine and using a printed engine could reduce waste by up to 90% (Mashable). From replicating a toddler’s heart for a complicated surgery, to XYZPrinting’s 3D printed pizza (tried out by CES 2015 attendees), and now, to a jet engine, it’s going to be interesting to see what else will be 3D printed one way or another.