Many people still struggle with the idea of “printing” things by adding one layer of material on top of another, but Michael Idelchik, who runs GE’s advanced technologies research, is already talking about “printing large portions of jet engines.” GE Aviation, for example, is using lasers to print fuel nozzles for next-generation jet engines. The nozzles are 25 percent lighter and as much as five times more durable than the existing model welded from 20 different parts.
“We already know that it can be done, we’ve been playing with it for a while,” Idelchik says. “Now we want to develop an ecosystem of designers, engineers, materials scientists, and other partners who can learn with us. We have a number of products that we are going to be launching and we want to challenge people to get into business with us. If the ecosystem grows, the entire industry will grow.”
…like this nano-Cupid from Brigham Young University physics students, who fashioned it from carbon nanotubes measuring about 20 atoms across. Cupid’s arm is about the width of a human hair, they say. It’s just the thing for the materials scientist who stole your heart.
Is your betrothed a botanist? How about this one from Bird and Moon Nature Comics and Charts?