French aerospace and defence company Safran Power Units will build engines using components made from 3D printer technology developed by Monash University researchers.
Amaero Additive Manufacturing, the specialist engineering company created by Monash University, has signed a deal to produce auxiliary power units and turbojet engines at Safran’s Toulouse manufacturing facility.
The company said it would relocate two of the large printers they have customised for the work to Toulouse. Production was expected to begin in the first quarter of 2017.
“Our new facility will be embedded within the Safran Power Units factory in Toulouse and will make components for Safran’s auxiliary power units and turbojet engines,” Amaero chief executive Barrie Finnin said in a statement on Tuesday.
Safran chief executive Francois Tarel described the new partnership as a “new milestone” following a successful “demonstration phase” over the past five years.
“We are committed to add tangible value to our products for the benefit of our customers,” Tarel said.
“The stakes are high: weight reduction, huge production cycles shortening and designs innovation. Safran Group advances and our partner leading-edge expertise allow us to stay ahead and to supply the most sophisticated components.
“This is not just a matter of 3D printing, the 3P rule applies: setting the right parameter for the right part and the right expected performance.”
The world’s first 3D printed jet engine was seen at the 2015 Avalon Airshow when Amaero, supported by the Science and Industry Endowment Fund (SIEF), Safran and Monash University and working in collaboration with Deakin University and the CSIRO, displayed a Safran gas turbine power unit produced using its 3D metal printers.
“We proved that our team were world-leaders,” director of the Monash Centre for Additive Manufacturing Professor Xinhua Wu said.
“I’m delighted to see our technology leap from the laboratory to a factory at the heart of Europe’s aerospace industry in Toulouse.”
Monash University Vice-Provost (Research and Research Infrastructure) Professor Ian Smith said: “The Amaero-Safran collaboration is a fabulous example of how universities and industry can link together to translate research into real commercial outcomes.”