Aerospace company Rolls Royce has announced that they’re looking into developing jet engines using the highly popular 3D printing method.
The thought process behind using 3D printing to create the engines is that it will decrease production time as well as the weight of the pieces used to manufacture the engines.
Dr. Henner Wapenhans, an executive at Rolls Royce, conceded that while they’re still a few years away from being able to finalize the process, the idea of printing an entire engine could cut the production time down from 18-months to 1 week. Dr. Wapenhans also theorizes that using 3D printing could potentially enhance the design of the engines, saying,
“3D printing opens up new possibilities, new design space. Through the 3D printing process, you’re not constrained [by] having to get a tool in to create a shape. You can create any shape you like. There are studies that show one can create better lightweight structures, because you just take the analogy of what nature does and how bones are built up – they’re not solid material.”
3D printing can be learned as part of the Mechanical Engineering Technology program at New England Tech.