GE releases instructions for 3D-printable jet engine
If you head over to Thingiverse, you can get instructions for a hand-cranked, 3D-printable jet engine, courtesy of GE.
If you've ever felt your life didn't have enough jet engines in it, now there's a way you can get one of your very own; just don't expect it to actually power anything.
The engine in question is actually a 3D-printed model, designed by GE. Although its parts move in the same way as a real jet engine, it's scaled down, simplified, made of 3D printer material, and powered not by combustion but by a hand crank.
"Transform your desk into a manufacturing hub with our 3D-printed jet engine assembly kit," GE wrote on its official Tumblr. "This 14-piece model makes the perfect gift for aviation geeks, engine enthusiasts, friends, relatives, baristas, and pets (don't actually give this to your pets)."
The engine fits into a stand, where you can see how the parts interact as you turn the crank. Its parts include the shaft, turbines, compressor and fan.
GE is not just mucking around, though: last year, it started experimenting with additive manufacturing for jet engine parts, producing a model of its GEnx jet engine through direct metal laser melting.
And, last week, the manufacturer announced that it would be opening a high volume additive manufacturing plant in Auburn, AL. to mass produce 3D-printed parts for the jet propulsion industry.