3D printing turbo-boost for university spin-off

November 10, 2016

Melbourne’s 3D printed jet engine technology is flying into production in France.

3D printed jet engine

The Monash University-led team who created a 3D printed jet engine last year have enabled a new venture for manufacturing aerospace components in France.

Melbourne-based Amaero Engineering – a spin out company from Monash University’s innovation cluster – has signed an agreement with the University and Safran Power Units to print turbojet components for Safran, the French-based global aerospace and defence company.

“Our new facility will be embedded within the Safran Power Units factory in Toulouse and will make components for Safran’s auxiliary power units and turbojet engines,” says Barrie Finnin, CEO of Monash spin-out company Amaero.

Monash University’s Vice-Provost (Research and Research Infrastructure) Professor Ian Smith says that the Amaero-Safran agreement is an excellent example of the University’s exceptional research having commercial impact on a global scale.

“I am delighted that Monash is contributing to global innovation and attracting business investment with our world-class research. The Amaero-Safran collaboration is a fabulous example of how universities and industry can link together to translate research into real commercial outcomes,” Smith says.

Monash Jet Engine on display at the Avalon Airshow.
Monash Jet Engine on display at the Avalon Airshow.

The world’s first 3D printed jet engine was revealed to the world at the 2015 Melbourne International Airshow. As part of a project supported by the Science and Industry Endowment Fund (SIEF) Safran, Monash University and Amaero, in collaboration with Deakin University and the CSIRO, took a Safran gas turbine power unit from a Falcon executive jet, scanned it and created two copies using their customised 3D metal printers. This research is now being extended further through the support of Australian Research Council’s (ARC) strategic initiative “Industry Transformation Research Hub” and several industrial partners including Safran and Amaero.

“We proved that our team were world-leaders,” says Professor Xinhua Wu, Director of the Monash Centre for Additive Manufacturing. “I’m delighted to see our technology leap from the laboratory to a factory at the heart of Europe’s aerospace industry in Toulouse,” Wu says.

Amaero will establish a new manufacturing facility on the Safran Power Units site in Toulouse using a 3D printing technology known as Selective Laser Melting. They will not only bring the know-how and intellectual property they’ve developed in partnership with Monash University, they will also relocate two of the large printers they have customised for this precise manufacturing task.

Safran Power Units will test and validate the components the team makes, and then the factory will enter serial production, producing components that Safran Power Units will post process, machine and assemble into auxiliary power units and turbojet engines for commercial and defence use. The project team expect that production will commence in the first quarter of 2017.

Hear from Professor Xinhua Wu:

This information on 3D printed jet engine technology was first shared by Science In Public on 8 November 2016. Read the original article here.

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One thought on “Collaborate or crumble”

  1. Business gets 100% the financial benefits, business should pay 100% of the costs. If business thinks R&D doesn’t pay, don’t do it.

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