Customization and providing tailored products, while keeping highly automated production with minimum manufacturing personnel, is a general trend, and one of the expectations of manufacturing companies from developed countries to stand in competition against cheap mass production. This trend, often also called “industry 4.0”, is taking advantage of many innovative and quickly developing technologies like AM or 3D printing. Applications of 3D printing are also getting into the field of turbomachinery.
The first part of the paper provides a review of current 3D printing technologies with respect to applications in turbomachinery field. Several technologies, mostly for producing a metal or plastic product, exist and can be considered. Applications for the components range from single Watts to hundreds MW scale and similarly for various other operating conditions.
The second part briefly describes possible practical applications concerning multiple situations as research and development, customization of end-product, operative field-testing, or temporary replacements.