Case Study

Advancing Supersonic Technologies:

The Velo3D and Lockheed Martin Collaboration



North Star Imaging’s innovative technology helps validate internal geometries in a part without destroying that part. Their 3D Computed Tomography (CT) X-ray inspection services use the most advanced X-ray inspection technology to provide the clearest picture of a part, inside and out, virtually eliminating any evaluation errors. The scans shown here are solid surface, slice and internal surface.

Ramjet engines are a type of jet engine that generate supersonic thrust. They are often used in defense systems and other high-speed aircraft. Download this detailed overview of a ramjet engine designed by Velo3D Applications Development Engineer, Jay Blake in partnership with Lockheed Martin, which demonstrates the industrial maturity of emerging in-situ process monitoring capability in the latest generation of laser powder-bed fusion additive manufacturing (AM) systems.
This display piece was printed on a 1-meter-tall Sapphire XC 1MZ in Inconel® 718 as a solid piece without supports and made possible with funding through LIFT, the Detroit-based national manufacturing innovation institute, in partnership with the Department of Defense.

Velo3D’s Jay Blake, Applications Development Engineer, with the Ramjet Engine printed on a Sapphire XC 1MZ printer.

Critical Features

Part Consolidation

Part consolidation reduces manufacturing time and cost by combining multiple parts into one. This unique design consolidates an inlet spike, heat exchanger, flame holder, struts, and fuel injectors into one piece.

Perforated Boundary Layer Bleed

Velo3D’s technology created a consistent perforated array of 500 µm holes. This minimized thermoacoustic instabilities and diffused supersonic flow regimes caused in the inlet spike, which improved overall engine efficiency.

Flow Channels

Velo3D’s metal AM technology can produce parts with thin walls, lattice structures, and complex internal channels. This is valuable for supersonic and hypersonic systems because it allows for more efficient airflow and heat dissipation.

Bleed Air-Injected Flame Holder

Due to Velo3D’s non-contact recoater, the flame holder of this ramjet was printed completely without supports. As air flows inside, it is then ejected out of the wake of the flame holder, helping to maintain combustion and reduce some of the parasitic drag on the engine.

Do More and Go Further with Velo3D

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