Sierra Turbines Drives Innovation for Microturbines
Velo3D worked closely with Sierra Turbines to reimagine their Mk1 microturbine. By consolidating 61 discrete parts into a single unicore design, engineers were able to reduce the weight of the unit by about half.
Normally, with that level of consolidation you might expect to see a reduction in quality or efficiency, but the resulting microturbine saw 10x power density compared to incumbent parts, 40x more efficiency, and a performance of nearly 20x time between overhauls (TBO).
Cross-section of a Sierra Turbines engine combustor highlighting the complexity of the interior. The thin air foils and smooth lattice help the combustor effectively atomize fuel prior to combustion. 3D printing consolidated this microturbine into a unified geometry with fine details and features that are unattainable via any other method.