Australia’s world-first 3D printing technology will soon be making jet engines in Europe

The assembled jet engine. Image: CSIRO

The Australian researchers who created the world’s first 3D-printed jet engine have closed a deal to manufacture aerospace components in France.

Amaero Engineering, a spin-off company from Monash University’s innovation cluster, has signed an agreement to print turbojet components for Safran, a 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 Amaero.

The 3D-printed jet engine was first revealed at the 2015 Melbourne International Airshow. Monash University’s Centre for additive manufacturing led the project in collaboration with CSIRO’s Lab 22 researchers and Deakin University.

The researchers took a Safran gas turbine power unit from a Falcon executive jet, scanned it and created two copies using customised 3D metal printers.

Amaero will establish a manufacturing facility in Toulouse using 3D printing technology known as Selective Laser Melting.

François Tarel, CEO of Safran Power Units, says his company has been working with Monash University for five years.

“We are committed to add tangible value to our products for the benefit of our customers,” he says.

“The stakes are high: weight reduction, huge production cycles shortening and designs innovation.”

Here’s how the researchers printed jet engine parts: