Sydneysider Nic Adams is one of ten global Phase One finalists in GE’s Open Innovation Jet Engine Bracket Design Quest.
Launched in June 2013, the competition invited individuals, companies and institutions to redesign loading brackets found on jet engines using 3D printing. The Quest combines the power of additive manufacturing with open innovation and seeks design solutions which will not only reduce the bracket weight but also improve its strength and performance capabilities.
Sydney-based Adams said he worked with his brother to keep his design organic in order to minimise sharp corners and used a hollow structure to best distribute material and stress. Adams predicts that his winning design will reduce the weight of the jet loading brackets by 80.4 percent.
“After getting the final shape right with my bulletproof model, I worked to further reduce weight by removing material with circular cut outs at strategic locations,” said Adams.
Adams said he was encouraged to enter because of the opportunity to work with the GE team to realise the highest potential in modern manufacturing techniques. Familiar with advanced manufacturing techniques, Adams previously worked on a pathology lab automation system in a Sydney hospital, featuring robotic handling and analysis of hundreds of test tubes per day.
Mark Little, Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, GE Global Research Center said: “We have entered into a new era of manufacturing that is leveraging the proven power of open innovation. Additive manufacturing is allowing GE, together with the Maker community, to push the boundaries of traditional engineering. These finalists have demonstrated what can be achieved by embracing this more open, collaborative model.”
As a phase one finalist, Adams will receive $1,000 and move onto the second phase, in which the jet engine bracket designs will be manufactured and subjected to load testing by GE. The second phase of the Quest will run from September 17 to November 15 and the top eight designs will receive awards from a total prize pool of $20,000.
Other finalists in the top ten are based in France, Hungary, Indonesia, Italy, Poland, Romania, Sweden and the United Kingdom.
Several “special mention” entrants were noted for creativity expressed in some aspects of their design, including the use of spring design, mesh design and aggressive topography optimisation.