An Australian-made, additively manufactured jet engine is being claimed as a world first.
Monash University and Amaero Engineering – a company spun out from the university and a finalist in last year’s Endeavour Awards – have printed two such engines, with one of these currently on display at the Australian International Airshow at Avalon. The other is in Toulouse, France, with MicroTurbo (Safran).
The proof-of-concept gas turbine engines were the result of a complex, year-long project, said Monash’s Professor Xinhua Wu, who heads up the Monash Centre For Additive Manufacturing (MCAM).
"We took the engine to pieces and scanned the components,” AAP reports her as saying.
The engine was provided by Microturbo (Safran) and an auxiliary power unit of the kind used in aircraft such the Falcon 20.
“The partnership with Microturbo (Safran) is a success story that was recognised last year when Safran gave the team its Prize ‘Innovation for Product and Technology’ for the excellent work carried out in partnership with Microturbo and the University of Birmingham,” Jean-François Rideau, head of R&T from Microturbo (Safran), said in a statement.
“Monash and AMAERO are already key partners for our new developments and we are keen to have their help in developing new technologies for our future engines.”
3Dprint.com reported that MCAM apparently used a Concept Laser Xline 1000R, the largest selective laser melting machine in the world, for the project.
The ABC notes that Monash is currently making top-secret parts for aerospace companies Safran, Airbus and Boeing.
To read an interview with Professor Wu that appeared on this website in December, click here.
Image: Jake Sturmer, ABC