Rolls-Royce is planning on using 3D printing techniques in the future to produce components for its jet engines in order to speed up the production and to become able to use more lightweight parts. The company’s head of technology strategy Henner Wapenhans says the company is “a few years away” from using this technique to produce parts that go into service.
According to the Financial Times Mr Wapenhans has said: “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.”
He thinks the technique could be used to reduce the weight of parts such as brackets. “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. And so things that are simple things like brackets can be made a lot lighter.”
Are they in some way inspired by Gerry Hamilton from New Zealand? This man has designed a demonstration model of a jet engine on a 3D printer and turned this thing into an online tutorial. People responded to his project with reactions such as “insanely great!”, “awesome video” and “DANGEROUSLY COOL!”. If you would like to become “dangerously cool” in the world of 3D printing, then Hamilton has made a video for you to begin with: