Home Applications & Case Studies Metal 3D printing specialist Aurora Labs manufactures gas turbine engine

Metal 3D printing specialist Aurora Labs manufactures gas turbine engine

The Australian 3D printer manufacturer Aurora Labs has announced that it has produced a gas turbine engine using its metal 3D printing technology. For this, the company has 3D printed several metal parts.

The current model is expected to be launched next month and offers capabilities for light propulsion systems in a wide range of markets. In parallel, the development of a 400N class model is progressing.

Commenting on activities, CEO Rebekah Letheby, said:” 3D metal printing has worked to its strength in accelerating the product prototyping process of A3D’s sovereign turbine engine. The team has manufactured an advanced product in under 4 months. The turbine engine design and printing has successfully met benchmarks for laboratory prototype testing, which is at the cutting edge of high energy 3D metal printing of components. Testing will now move to the field where the engine can be fitted to a remotely piloted airframe.

We have an excellent level of interest for A3D’s printed engines which also have application not only to unmanned aerial vehicles, but also instant power generation. It is our goal to have a cutting-edge piece of technology to sell to the sizeable defence and aerospace markets.”

In the development of the prototype turbine engine, A3D has achieved market-leading benchmarks for its 200N class turbine engines. The required thrust, air intake efficiency, engine power and fuel consumption targets have been met, with further potential for improvement through unique generative design modifications suitable for 3D printing.

The engine performs and meets performance requirements comparable to engines built through traditional manufacturing processes. The advantage of the A3D engine is fewer complex parts, resulting in a fast and reliable assembly process without sacrificing performance. A3D has the 3D printing machines and expertise to carry out production runs of the engine in Australia.

The efficiency and weight of the turbines are the focus of A3D’s testing. These aspects are linked in our turbine model through the selection of individual parts that can be made lighter by design, as well as the selection of metal materials that enable efficient material performance and reduce overall mass. A lighter engine improves the fuel efficiency of the aircraft. The design team is also focusing on combining parts of the A3D turbine and printing them as a single unit.

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