Engineering, Analysis and Design

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

How to Design a Jet Engine

Designing a jet engine in a couple of months with no experience before. Yes, I know it sounds silly. However, it is not impossible. Here is my story and how I completed my jet engine design starting from literally zero.

Before explaining how I achieved my goal of designing a jet engine, let’s have a look at the final drawing. The engine consisted of 32 components and it is not a replica of standard jet engines currently used in the industry.

Figure 1

How Did I start?

I am currently a student in Materials Science and Engineering, but engines always interest me even before I attended the university. In the first year of my university education, I was introduced to a competition that was about designing for engineers. That was the first time that I heard the name “CAD”. In a short time, CAD software, Solidworks became one of my favourite interests. Briefly, I have been using CAD software for 3 years but only the first year was full of learning how to design something.

The jet engine is not the first model that I developed, my initial experience was a V6 internal combustion engine. To be honest, this was pretty much a benchmark for me, especially understanding how to turn my thought into a model. But we can talk about this engine maybe in another post.

How to Design a Jet Engine

Initially, the overall shape of the jet engine was so important. The most challenging part was the turbine blades. To design this, I created 4 planes/surfaces and connected them with splines. Later on, I connected the end-points of the splines with another 2 splines. Lastly, I applied the boundary surface command. I used cip-pattern to rotate the design around a central axis. I know that you could find a number of designs on the internet, however, I wanted to build my own jet engine. For this reason, I went through many many components which I was able to find by googling and completed my pre-drawings by hand. Here is an example below;

Figure 2 Hand drawings prior to 3D modelling

Recommendations for New Learners

I must admit that this was not a straightforward operation. You must go through lots of desperation, and passionate. Learning 3D modelling is a long term process that you cannot build in one or two days. I am still in search of a number of ways to turn my ideas into reality by using much less effort than I used to spend before. However, I would still recommend a few tips for those who are keen to look for some fun by learning 3D design.

  • Grabcad is a nice webpage which you can find various design ideas
  • Check Udemy, even the free courses exist about computer-aided design
  • My most important step is practising, keep drawing everything that you see around. Have a calliper in your hand and start measuring the objects. Then It will be easier to complete their 3D models in the software using your technical drawings.

You can reach the jet engine source file using the link as follows;

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