Mechanical engineering Ph.D. candidate Stephan Brinckmann and first-year graduate student Jackson Rambough display a computer model and prototype of a ceramic turbine blade that will be 3D printed during a $1 million research grant to increase gas turbine engine efficiency with 3D-printed parts that have built-in cooling channels. If successful, the project could improve air travel and electric generation efficiency.
Wyoming isn’t typically known for being on the cutting edge of technology, but when it comes to 3D printing, research about and usage of the slowly maturing technology has already found a home.
For instance, ceramic-printing research at the University of Wyoming could someday allow people to fly farther for cheaper. In Jackson, inexpensive prototyping has helped one company save time and money. And in Sheridan, 3D printers are already churning out complex parts that only 3D printers can handle.
DLR, German’s space agency and NASA equivalent, is doing what it can to support the global shortages of personal...