3D printers for aero engine parts

SLM Solutions says that it has sold two of its 3D printers to automotive giant Rolls-Royce.

Rolls-Royce already owns a range of the company’s high volume laser melting machines, SLM said.

Rolls-Royce will be using the systems for the manufacturing of components including complex combustor for its Pearl10X jet aircraft engine. According to SLM, using 3D printing could lead to an overall 5% increase in efficiency for the new engine, compared to its predecessor.

“Additive layer manufacturing enables the delivery of complex high-performing assemblies which cannot be manufactured using conventional techniques,” said Richard Mellor, Rolls-Royce chief manufacturing engineer. “For example, these combustor tiles include cooling holes which turn the air through 180 degrees maximising efficiency whilst reducing emissions.”