Nov 15, 2013

Rolls Royce is getting into 3d printing of jet engines (or how the competition is growing in aerospace additive manufacturing industry)

GE is getting heavily into 3d printing, so it is unavoidable that other big companies such as Rolls Royce will have to get in it also in order to remain competitive.  It will be interesting to how this industrial manufacturing technology will develop and what will it mean for technological development and for the labor force.

From i.materialise article:
"The Merlin Project is a 7,120,000 EUR research project that will be conducted by Rolls Royce in conjunction with other aircraft engine manufacturers. The aim of the project is to over the course of three years explore the use of 3D printing to make aircraft engines in order to reduce their environmental impact. The project aims to use 3D printing “to allow environmental benefits including near 100% material utilization current buy to fly ratios result in massive amounts of waste, no toxic chemical usage and no tooling costs, to impact the manufacture of future aero engine components. All of these factors will drastically reduce emissions across the life-cycle of the parts. …. Light-weighting, and the performance improvement of parts will result in reduced fuel consumption and reduced emissions….Impacts will include the development of high value, disruptive AM technologies capable of step changes in performance which will safeguard EU companies in the high value aero engine manufacturing field. AM will significantly reduce waste in an industry where materials require massive amounts of energy and toxic chemicals, in-process toxic chemical usage will be massively reduced, and emissions will drop because of the reduced amount of material involved.”