VIC to design, test world’s first 3D-printed rocket engine


PhD students in Victoria are using 3D printing technology to design, build and test a world-first rocket engine.

Minister for Industry and Employment Wade Noonan met the team at the Woodside Innovation Centre at Monash University to get a first-hand look at the Aerospike Rocket Engine.

The project brings together local researchers working in aerodynamics and combustion and experts from Amaero Additive Manufacturing.

The idea was inspired by the concept to physically test and develop an engine capable of generating enough thrust to lift five adults in only four months.

The Aerospike Rocket Engine team has formed a company, NextAero, to take their ideas to the world. Their invention will feature at the International Astronautical Congress in Adelaide later this month.

It comes as the Victorian Government has announced $2 million to develop an additive manufacturing hub to benefit the state’s small to medium enterprises.

“Victoria is the home of manufacturing and a world-class centre for 3D printing technology. We make things, and we’re proud of it,” Noonan said.

“This world-leading 3D printed rocket engine is a tremendous example of why Victoria has the most advanced manufacturing capabilities in the nation.”

The $18 million Future Industries Manufacturing Program and $20 million Sector Growth Program were established to support new investments and projects such as a new 4D lung scanner and Food Innovation Centre, both based at Monash.

The Advancing Victorian Manufacturing Statement will soon outline a strategy to prepare for the jobs of the future and capture high-value manufacturing opportunities.

Manufacturing employs more than 283,000 Victorians. In 2016, manufacturing experienced the fastest employment growth of any industry in Victoria with around 40,000 new jobs created.