3D printing jet engines and electric vehicles
Apr 02, 2015
At the major event IDTechEx Show! in Berlin April 28-29 there is a conference, Electric Vehicles: Everything is Changing. It will reveal radical new advances such as structural electronics replacing components-in-a box, 3D printing of electric cars by Local Motors of the USA and 3D printing of small jet engines as range extenders for electric vehicles, land, water and air, by Microturbo Safran of France. IDTechEx has the world's largest selection of reports on electric vehicles and their components and systems.
This 3D printing is part of a megatrend. In January, BAE Systems in the UK successfully completed the first-ever test flight of a fighter jet built partially with 3D-printed metallic parts. Large airliner jet engines will employ 3D printing, led by huge investments from GE. Its best-selling Leap engine has booked $80 billion in orders even before starting production. It incorporates 3D-printed nozzles and it is set to fly in passenger planes in 2016. The 3D-printed fuel nozzles are five times stronger and can last five times longer than a traditional nozzle. Over the next five years, GE Aviation will produce at least 100,000 parts with 3D printing and invest an additional $3.5 billion in the technology.
The forthcoming IDTechEx Show! has a conference exclusively dedicated to 3D printing and masterclasses on the subject. The event also has a large exhibition and conferences on energy harvesting, printed electronics, internet of things and other allied topics with presentations from Augusta Westland, GE Aviation, Daimler, Jaguar Land Rover, Komatsu, Huawei, ABB, Sharp, Panasonic, Lockheed Martin and many other global authorities and users.
Dr Jon Harrop, director of IDTechEx and lead researcher for its latest 3D printing report in a series, says that GE's 3D-printed fuel nozzle outstrips traditional nozzles on a technical level. "What they are printing is technically better than traditionally manufactured parts," says Harrop. "It has better integrated cooling channels that couldn't have been manufactured by any other means." He even believes that parts for service could be printed where they are fitted to aircraft engines.
Top image: GE Aviation