Researchers Create Jet Engines Using 3D Printer

May 5, 2015

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. 3D /ˈθriˈdi/ (adj.) – referring to something that is in three dimensions
Example: Our laboratory has a 3D printer.

2. template /ˈtɛm plɪt/ (n.) – a pattern or mold of something
Example: Dr. Wu and her team used a template when making their engines.

3. recognize / ˈrɛk əgˌnaɪz/ (v.) – to acknowledge
Example: The company recognized the team’s success.

4. industry /ˈɪn də stri/ (n.) – a type of business
Example: The medical industry will benefit from this experiment.

5. technique /tɛkˈnik/ (n.) – a way or process of doing things
Example: The new manufacturing technique is more efficient.


Read the text below.
Australian researchers were able to create a pair of jet engines using only a 3D printer.

The engines were created by researchers from Monash University in Melbourne [MEL-bern], Australia. Professor Wu Xinhua [SHIN-HWAH] and her team were given an engine from Safran [SA-fran], an aerospace company from France. They dismantled and scanned the parts of the engine. Afterwards, they created a digital template and printed it.

Safran recognized the printed jet engines’ high quality. Thus, the company awarded the team with its Innovation for Product and Technology prize in 2014. The engines were considered on par with the industry’s standard of manufacturing.

The success of Professor Xinhua’s team has opened possibilities of manufacturing with the use of 3D printing techniques. For the aerospace industry, it shows that aircraft parts can be produced in a shorter amount of time and at a cheaper cost. Manufacturers can create new aerospace designs and print them on lightweight metals such as titanium alloys.

Aside from the aerospace industry, the techniques of 3D printing can be applied in the biomedical field. Customized surgical tools can further enhance doctors’ skills. The 3D printers can also create replacement body parts, such as prosthetic arms and legs.

3D printing is the process of making three-dimensional objects designed digitally. Using a computer, it prints the image on materials like plastic or polymer–a specially created chemical material.

Professor Xinhua and her team’s jet engines displayed that metals, like titanium and aluminum, can also be used in 3D printing.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Aside from the aerospace and biomedical industries, what other industries can benefit from using 3D printing? Please provide examples.
·         If you could make something with 3D printing, what would it be? Kindly discuss.

Discussion B

·         What kind of technology would you like to have in the future?
·         Do you think we can produce that kind of technology at this time? Why do you say so?

May 5, 2015