Typically when we talk about low volume production using additive manufacturing technologies, we think of smaller complex parts that can't be easily manufactured with typical manufacturing methods. At RedEye we've had great success in producing very large scale prototypes like the project we did recently building a full-scale turbo-prop aircraft engine model.
The engine's gear box includes two sets of gears, which operate two sets of propellers that move in counter rotation to each other. With an engine length of over 10 feet, a blade-span of 10.5 feet, and 188 components, the engine model is massive in size. It includes several large parts, such as six propeller blades, each measuring 4.5 feet long.
Check out a video of this large turbo prop: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ALA2Gp59_IM
Additional information about this project: https://www.redeyeondemand.com/NL_December09.aspx
Do you think we'll start seeing additive manufacturing methods being used to produce large size production/end-use parts?
Well, I came across an article in Mechanical Engineering where a group at the U of Southern Cal. is doing just that. They are working on their own additive process for fabricating buildings! Pretty interesting stuff. Get more info on this project at: