Romanian Valentin Stamate, a researcher at the Transilvania University in Brasov, presented a 3D printed two-stroke airplane engine prototype. It cost some EUR 20,000 to manufacture and the expense was undertaken by the Brasov University.
The engine is a 10 cubic centimeters one, with 10,000 rotations per minute. Most of the engine parts were produced by SLM and SLS-type 3D printers out of steel, aluminum, and steel and bronze powders. The only parts that were not 3D printed were the propeller, which is made of wood, the cone and its fastening system, the supporting bearings, the screws, the nuts and the spark. The engine is fueled by a mix of methanol and oil.
Now, I know what you are thinking: interesting project but 20 thousand euro is a lot of money for a small engine. Any you are right.
The first thing that came to my mind was my lawn mover broke a few days ago, and since I live in Croatia the replacement part was hard to find and too expensive for my taste. There are MANY small engines in the world and with right investment and economics of scale, this is a very large market. Just the replacement part market is huge with thousands of different engine models with hundreds of parts each.
THIS WORLD NEEDS CHEAPER and OPEN SOURCED 3D PRINTABLE SMALL ENGINES!!!
Now go and make it happen.