This article describes the basic features of a 3D printed blade that can survive inside a turbine. This blade has been developed by Siemens. The team behind the blade included project manager, Jenny Nilsson, as well as engineers at Material Solutions, a company Siemens later bought. Team members developed better cooling designs to improve the gas turbine efficiency, designed the blade, and developed the whole manufacturing process to manufacture this type of component and geometry. Like all additive manufacturing, the team applied thin layers of material—one after the other—to build up a finished object. The main difference with Siemens’ blade process was that layers were made of high-temperature-resistant, polycrystalline nickel-based superalloy powder, which was then heated and melted by a laser. The durability of the printed blades was proved by installing them in a 13-MW SGT-400-type industrial gas turbine at a Siemens test center for industrial gas turbines in Lincoln, United Kingdom.

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