The first fully 3D printed jet engine

PTC – a leading software company specializing in the development of CAD class software, will present the world’s first jet engine produced exclusively using metal 3D printing technology. The premiere will take place during the LiveWorx 2023 event, which will start on May 15, 2023, in Boston. The micro-turbojet engine printed from metal alloy – Inconel, is a single, complete structure, containing all rotating and stationary parts. It was entirely designed in Creo software developed by PTC and printed on an EOS 3D printer.

Designing and printing a micro-turbojet engine, including a 50,000 RPM turbine that does not need to be assembled, represents a significant design breakthrough for additive manufacturing. The jet engine is one of the most powerful and complex devices, with performance requirements to operate and component complexity.

The engine design demonstrates the feasibility of metal 3D printing and could have a significant impact on the aerospace industry. Current production engines require a complex assembly process with many costly parts, which exposes customers to supply chain dependencies, limited availability, and manufacturers maintaining the right expertise to complete assembly. Thanks to additive manufacturing, there is no assembly process and the number of components used and the required tools for production can be significantly reduced. This reduces costs and opens up the possibility of on-demand production directly at the customer’s site.

The jet engine design was developed by Dr. Ronen Ben Horin, VP of Technology at PTC and Beni Cukurel, Professor of Aviation at Technion. Both have combined many years of deep research into jet propulsion and engineering experience in designing advanced engines and designing for additive manufacturing.

Many advanced design capabilities were used in the creation of the engine in Creo:

Lightweight Design: Creo enables advanced mesh modeling and generative design to reduce material and weight while maintaining the same strength and performance as parts with more material and weight.

Self-supporting geometries for 3D printing: Beam-based meshes automatically optimize designs for printability. Creo also supports self-supporting formula-guided meshes, which can be combined with printability controls and modifiers to tailor the design to print efficiency.

Creo is compatible with most 3D printing and finishing machines. Designing 3D components in Creo is key to performing traditional machining for precision assembly. Creo offers a variety of formats, including 3MF, for transferring 3D models to various 3D printer technologies on the market, while allowing users to easily create associative models for machining operations.


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