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    The All-Russian Institute of Aviation Materials (VIAM) and the Russian defense industry Foundation for Advanced Research (FPI) are starting work on creating a drone powered by VIAM's new small-scale 3D-printed engine, Izvestia reported Monday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — VIAM began working in the 3D-printing area in 2015, when it produced a combustion chamber swirler for the next generation PD-14 turbofan being developed by the Aviadvigatel aeroengine manufacturer.

    "The engine is made entirely on the basis of VIAM additive manufacturing using new laser sintering technology and metal powder mixes for heat-resistant and aluminum alloys, which have also been developed by the institute's experts. We were able to print an engine with unique parameters impossible to achieve with conventional casting by using additive manufacture technology. For example, the thickness of the combustion chamber's walls is 0.3 millimeters. Such parameters are only possible with 3D printing," VIAM Director General Evgeny Kablov told the Izvestia newspaper.

    VIAM's small gas turbine engine was unveiled in late June. The institute said at the time that the engine had been assembled from 3D-printed parts. The additive manufacturing process permits a material efficiency approaching one, as well as enabling parts to be produced up to 30 times faster than by conventional methods. The engine prototype weighs 900 grams and provides a thrust of 75 kilograms, according to the institute. The engine's thrust may be increased to 150 kilograms without a significant increase in mass.

    VIAM and FPI will continue the 3D printing experiment and develop Russia's additive manufacture sector, according to FPI deputy head Alexander Panfilov.

    "After the experiment, we will begin joint work on developing additive technologies in our country to broaden the range of materials as well as developing our own unique 3D printing stations," Panfilov told the newspaper.

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    3D, drone, Russia
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