As The Telegraph reports, Australian researchers have created two jet engines using 3D printing in what is described a world-first that has attracted the interest of major manufacturers and engineering firms.
The machines - produced using the template of a gas turbine engine from French aircraft engine maker Safran, which supplies Airbus and Boeing - demonstrated the potential 3D printing had to produce high-quality products, researchers from Melbourne's Monash University said.
"The significance... is the recognition by major manufacturers and engineering companies like Safran and Airbus that the material you can print using 3D metal printing is of aircraft quality and I think that's hugely significant," the university's Ian Smith told AFP.
Smith said the technology could be used to build prototypes and customised components quickly and cheaply.
The 3D metals printers could also be used in the biomedical industry to create body parts or equipment.
"Where we see some of the big opportunities are in the medical space where you can make bespoke parts for the body - replacement joints and hips designed specifically for that individual," he said.