Video: The Additive Nozzle’s Origin Story
The LEAP engine fuel nozzle is likely additive’s greatest success in part production so far, but it wasn’t always clear that the nozzle could be made this way. This video from GE Aviation tells the story.
#basics #metal #assemblyconsolidation
GE Aviation produced this excellent short film about the back story of the poster child for part production via additive manufacturing: the LEAP engine fuel nozzle. This video shows the additively produced fuel nozzle assembled in the engine, and it includes animation suggesting the nozzle’s role. The video also includes some interesting details about the conceptual journey that led to this part, such as the engineering team’s jump from recognizing that two parts could be consolidated into one via additive manufacturing, to realizing that in fact the entire formerly 20-piece assembly could be produced as one additive build. Also noted in this film are the doubts that surrounded the question of whether the part really could be produced this way, and the 2 a.m. phone call announcing that it had been.
GE engineers started with a radio-controlled engine and redesigned it for additive manufacturing. This model manufacturing exercise illustrates important real points about additive manufacturing as a production option.
According to engineers with GE Aviation, the challenges of additive metal manufacturing—serious as they are—are small compared to the promise that this technology holds. How else can you make a plane engine 1,000 pounds lighter?
A team of engineers turns to additive design to create—and successfully test—“the holy grail of the spaceship movement.”