Aero Engine Research Project

Manufacture of a small demonstrator aero-engine entirely through additive manufacturing

The Aero Engine Project brings together Australia’s leading materials, design and additive manufacturing R&D capabilities, alongside industries across the materials and aero-space supply-chain, to manufacture a small aeroengine using entirely additive manufacturing technologies. It serves as an opportunity to demonstrate how fundamental science can be conducted in an integrated manner with industry and effectively transferred into manufacturing of a highly complex engineering system.

This project takes a complex aero engine, made up of 23 different components, and aims to demonstrate that by using additive manufacturing processes (ie 3D printing) it is possible to fabricate all the components. The project will identify which process and its processing conditions should be selected for each component, based on the design specifications. Not only is this production method economically beneficial to the manufacturer, there are also significant environmental benefits, allowing the creation of more light-weight products which require reduced energy to produce, and a significant reduction in material waste.

A 3D printed jet engine displayed on a stand.

3D Printed Jet Engine © Monash University, Centre for Additive Manufacturing

This project is strongly supported by end-users so that the outcome of the research will be meaningful and add significant value to commercial products whilst serving the purpose of being educational and demonstrating what the innovation can achieve. The outstanding research and technical capabilities from three research partner organisations (Monash, CSIRO, and Deakin, with end users MicroTurbo) span in-depth metallurgy knowledge, from atomic to meter scale characterisation (including synchrotron), process modelling and a variety of additive manufacturing technologies. The success of this project will position Australia at the forefront of this rapidly developing technology and make Australia one of the lead contenders in additive manufacturing in global market. These ‘waste-free” technologies will fast-track the sustainability of the country’s titanium mineral resource.

For further information please contact:

Prof Xinhua Wu, Monash University,

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