New GE 1300hp 3D printed turboprop improves efficiency by 15% while reducing complexity

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proppastie

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I still once in a while checkout https://www.ge.com/additive/
Where they post some cool videos of the tech.

Tim
Thank you they actually show the printed shell/housing of a jet engine......I did not think we were that far yet. I am not sure What is being shown or how that ties into the turbine and main shaft and how strong it really is, but time will tell.
 
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BJC

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Why should they make it prices lower?

To reflect the cost of manufacturing,
If they are successful with manufacturing the engine using the new methods, and it meets their stated performance improvements over existing products, customers will be willing to pay a premium.

When a new method produces a new, better, product, sales will increase, as will profits and the return on investment for the owners. That is an example of free enterprise and innovation making things better for investors and consumers alike.


BJC
 

proppastie

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The atoms of metal in conventional alloys are arranged in lots of tiny little substructures, which means the areas between those substructures are weak spots where cracks can form and propagate.
Single crystal means arranging the atoms as one big structure
I was not aware that could be done with 3-D printing.....I wounder if we are talking about theoretical blades, based on microscopic single crystal growth of some substance.
 

proppastie

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I have to wounder if marketing is throwing around lots of buss words....If you weld a part onto another part that could be called "additive manufacturing".
 

12notes

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Why should they make it prices lower?

To reflect the cost of manufacturing, just like space X has done. Just like the development costs would have been lower.

The benefits of the 3 d process are best spread around in increased profit but also lower cost.

Space X would be no where if it charged the same per flight as legacy rockets.
Spacex is providing a service at a lower price. They are not selling a new or differentiated product. They can't put satellites into better orbits, it makes no difference in who launches the satellite, so the only improvement they can make in the market is in costs.

Turbine engines are not in the same type of market. If there's a better engine that runs more efficiently, then you can charge a premium for it.
 
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jedi

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I can not give a reference but I did see an article that explained the giant step in design and manufacturing. It is real. Something like a compressor that in other engines would be an assembly of many blades and stages is now printed as a single component.

I was impressed. This is particularly suited to smaller turbine engines and should be a game changer for light turbine powered aircraft.
 

AdrianS

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.....If they can 3-D print the castings and ducts that is impressive. I would think they could have all internal passageways instead of all those pipes....
I think that's part of the reduced part count : external pipes need joints, seals, mounting brackets and bolts ... it all adds up.
 

BJC

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I can not give a reference but I did see an article that explained the giant step in design and manufacturing. It is real. Something like a compressor that in other engines would be an assembly of many blades and stages is now printed as a single component.

I was impressed. This is particularly suited to smaller turbine engines and should be a game changer for light turbine powered aircraft.
Small diameter rotors, guide vanes and nozzles are more affected by joints - dovetails, keys, pins, spacers, shrouds, etc., than larger diameter machines. Eliminating those reduces aero losses, makes structural integrity easier to achieve, reduces manufacturing complexity, makes control of thermal issues more predictable / controllable, etc.

I agree, jedi, this is a significant breakthrough.


BJC
 

Doggzilla

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I can not give a reference but I did see an article that explained the giant step in design and manufacturing. It is real. Something like a compressor that in other engines would be an assembly of many blades and stages is now printed as a single component.

I was impressed. This is particularly suited to smaller turbine engines and should be a game changer for light turbine powered aircraft.
Currently most light turbines use single stage aluminum impellers. They have abysmal pressure ratios as well. They have not even reached the quality of commercial truck turbochargers.

Literally anything is a huge leap forward compared to that.

A properly designed 100-200lb thrust turbine would probably use a third the fuel as existing models.
 

CharlieN

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The GE forging plant here in Rutland VT. where most turbine blades are produced is tooling up to produce the additive manufacturing for this new direction of turbines. The plant is 11 miles from my house. Friends of mine who are transferring to this new division are quite impressed with the scope of engineering here.
 

proppastie

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The GE forging plant here in Rutland VT. where most turbine blades are produced is tooling up to produce the additive manufacturing for this new direction of turbines. The plant is 11 miles from my house. Friends of mine who are transferring to this new division are quite impressed with the scope of engineering here.
see if you can get more information....are both hot and cold blades printed?.....are they single unit/stage?
 

CharlieN

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A good friend of mine has been hired there and is going through training just for that process. I will reach out to him and see what he has learned. He is the one who got me up to speed on the Prusa printer I use. Since being hired he has not been around our chapter activities.
I believe hub and blades are one unit. Not sure if these stack on a shaft or are a full stage, I think they stack.
 

Sockmonkey

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I was not aware that could be done with 3-D printing.....I wounder if we are talking about theoretical blades, based on microscopic single crystal growth of some substance.
IIRC it's heat treating process that makes them single crystal. The 3-D printing aspect is to make complex parts that would ordinarily have to be made of several components bolted together.
 

Riggerrob

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IIRC it's heat treating process that makes them single crystal. .....................
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A few years back, Aviation and Space Weekly published a photo of a freshly cast/grown, single crystal turbine blade. It was cast in mood with a spiral inlet duct that choked off all but one crystal as it cooled.
 
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