3D Printed Microturbines

Turbomachinery is quickly becoming the “killer app” in the metal additive manufacturing (AM) industry. With engineers in aerospace as well as terrestrial energy generation all looking to AM for new innovations and faster lead times on parts, it’s no wonder turbomachinery has become a key driver of metal AM adoption for many companies.

Durability Improvement

Higher Power Density

Lighter Than Competitors

Consolidated Parts

Application Definition

Optimization & Manufacturing Challenges

Velo3D Enablement

A turbine generates power by converting fluid flow into mechanical energy. Many of these applications can range in temperature from cryogenic up to hundreds of degrees Celsius with pressures up to thousands of PSI. In addition, rotational components in advanced turbomachinery experience high RPMs in the tens of thousands. These conditions combined with the goal to constantly increase the efficiency of turbines and pumps makes design and manufacturing of mission critical turbomachinery challenging.

To achieve higher gas turbine performance, designers look to optimize many variables that often impact the complexity of the part and add difficulty in manufacturing. For example, with higher temperatures comes improved efficiency but also the need for new alloys and advanced cooling techniques. This often leads to an optimal design that contains complex internal channels, thin walls, and complex lattice structures.

To manufacture these devices traditionally, engineers utilize a multi-step manufacturing process that compromises many of these optimal geometries and features, is manually intensive, and takes a long time.

Velo3D’s end-to-end solution provides the ability to print the most advanced geometries at production quality. Complex internal channels and thin walls can be manufactured with benefits like reduced back pressure and increased heat transfer. Furthermore, this expands the design window for engineers to fully optimize their parts utilizing advanced, space-age alloys for maximum performance.

The Velo3D solution also features ~1,000 sensors that continually monitor the print in real time compiling over a terabyte of data for larger builds. Assure™ simplifies this data presenting engineers with the most relevant information about part quality to give you confidence throughout the entire manufacturing process.

Real-World Application
“My design team is freed from the constraints of traditional manufacturing and even existing metal AM technologies such that they can focus purely on defining the geometry needed to maximize performance and differentiation.”

Roger Smith – Founder and CEO – Sierra Turbines

Do More and Go Further with Velo3D

Schedule a call with an expert to learn how Velo3D can transform your business and solve your engineering challenges.