In the incredible evolution of 3D-printing capabilities, GE engineers have made a tiny jet engine that can go 33,000 rotations per minute.
As they report, the “backpack-sized jet engine” — about a foot long by 8 inches tall — was built by a team at GE’s Aviation’s Additive Development Center outside Cincinnati. The next-gen technique built the engine by “melting metal powder layer upon layer.”
Calling it a “fun side project,” the GE engineers said that the mini-engine didn’t reach the complexity of a large-scale commercial jet engine. So they used simpler plans for an engine that could be used in remote-control planes and customized it for their 3D-printing machines.
What are the potential benefits of such a build? “Less material waste and more complex parts that can be built precisely to optimize how they work inside a machine,” the GE post states. The engineers also cited speed and the ability to go “right from a model or idea to making a part.”
Watch the build process below: