Pratt & Whitney parent company Raytheon Technologies has acquired a printer and accompanying software from Velo3D to evaluate the technology for the additive manufacturing of production jet engine components. The engine maker previously used Velo3D’s contract manufacturer network to produce parts. The Sapphire XC printer—calibrated to print a nickel-based superalloy—and software will reside at Raytheon Technologies’ research center in Connecticut.
“Metal additive manufacturing can transform aviation and space systems by delivering unprecedented part consolidation, lighter-weight components, and more efficient systems,” said Velo3D founder and CEO Benny Buller. “We’re pleased to see Pratt & Whitney move forward with their own Sapphire XC printer. We’re eager to see how they innovate their most mission-critical designs using our end-to-end solution, and how the economies of scale of an in-house system help increase addressable use-cases.”
Jesse Boyer, a fellow in additive manufacturing at Pratt & Whitney, said the engine OEM will look at using the printer and software for collaboration with other suppliers and its Geared Turbofan and advanced engine programs.