MAN Diesel & Turbo, a subsidiary of the multinational mechanical engineering company MAN SE (FWB:MAN), has added 3D printing into the serial production of its gas turbine engines. The metallic components are the first 3D printed parts to enter MAN Diesel & Turbos product range, and are the result of 10 years of extensive research and development.
Graphical composition of an industrial gas turbine. Clip via MANDieselTurbo on YouTube.
Performing at 1,800 revolutions per minute
The 3D printed parts in question are the guide vane segments of a turbine, used to redirect gas as it passes through the engine to generate power. They have been integrated into the MAN MGT6100 series of turbines which perform at a rate of up to 1,800 revolutions per minute (60 Hz).
MAN Diesel & Turbo worked with a number of partners in the development of the turbine part, including the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology in Aachen, Germany. As 3D Printing Industry heard at the Additive World Conference, Fraunhofer ILT are developing technology to support the trend for 3D printing in series production.
While in the UK, a Siemens test facility has also successfully used 3D printed blades in its gas turbine engines.
The move toward series production
Series production is one of the key themes for the advancement of additive manufacturing. In collaboration with Stratasys 3D printers, the Mobility Division of Siemens is looking to cut production of vehicle components from weeks to days using 3D printing. Software platforms, such as Dassault Systèmes’ 3DEXPERIENCE and SAP® Distributed Manufacturing are also working towards this goal by creating smart, connected software workflows.
While in the UK a Siemens test facility has also successfully trialed the performance of 3D printed blades in its gas turbine engines.
Featured images: the 3D printed gas turbine part. Photo by MAN Diesel & Turbo