Earlier this month, Valentin Stamate, a researcher with Transilvania University in Brasov, presented a prototype he developed of what he’s calling the first 3D printed two-stroke airplane engine. Stamate has been working on his research at the university in Romania for the past four years; he was previously a member of the faculty for the Technological Engineering and Industrial Management department, but stopped teaching two years ago in order to focus solely on his research.
We’ve talked about 3D printed engine components before, like engine injectors, fuel nozzles, and a thrust chamber assembly; we’ve even talked about 3D printed engines for drones, rockets, and planes. But this looks to be the first 3D printed two-stroke engine we’ve seen. Transilvania University in Brasov covered all of the prototype’s manufacturing expenses for Stamate, which ended up costing about €20,000.
“Making this engine is useful because, in the future, we could drop the manufacturing of matrices, which come with high production costs, and design the prototype with the help of the 3D printing technology,” Stamate explained. “Then the series production can start.”
Most of the parts for Stamate’s prototype engine, such as the engine block, the muffler, the cylinder wall, the piston, and the connecting rod, were produced using SLM and SLS 3D printing processes, with steel and aluminum material and metallic bronze and steel powders. The 3D printed two-stroke airplane engine prototype measures in at 10 cubic centimers, with 10,000 rotations per minute (RPM).The only engine parts that were not 3D printed were the screws, nut and spark, the supporting bearings, the cone and its fastening system, and the propeller, which you can see is actually made of wood. The engine prototype is fueled using a fix of oil and methanol.
In a translated Mediafax article, Stamate said, “Such an engine if good conditions and if they work in a department of a company where there are all technologies of printing and further processing, perhaps in a few months, a team would be able to bring a new product of its kind.”
Discuss in the 3D Printed Airplane Engine forum at 3DPB.com.[Sources/Images: Mediafax, Romania-Insider]