Build Your Own Jet Engine

by GE, published

Build Your Own Jet Engine by GE Jul 11, 2014

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Build your own jet engine right at home. This model engine, rendered by designer Patrick Saville, will take roughly 12 hours to print. Download the files and visit http://imgur.com/a/Z3qJX for a complete how-to guide, as well as the template to build the box! Happy jet-setting!

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Build Your Own Jet Engine by GE is licensed under the Creative Commons - Attribution license.

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This model printed very nicely on a Printrbot Play and Simple Metal, it's obvious that the designer has experience with 3D printing and knows some tricks. The stand prints completely flat because the "veins" relieve the tension that would normally cause warping. I noticed that the veins do not do all the way through from edge to edge. Is this done on purpose? Just looking for design tips. Thanks.

This comment has been deleted.

there are other jet enjine models on thingiverse to compare it to.

Hey jodino,
I just checked the files again, and i thought, judging by your comments, that they might have fixed the files. But part 11, the main fan, the blades are still facing the wrong direction. When the crank is turned, the blades when viewed from the front,should turn counter clockwise. the shape of the blades should be forcing the air into the engine. I hope they didnt fix all the internal blades orientation to match the main fan, because in that case, they will all be backwards.

This project is A W E S O M E!!!
it drives me crazy!!!
I can't stop print it!!!
I also found the fixed parts and upgraded parts..GREAT work guys!

I just printed, and it a very good looking model. But has anyone noticed that blades on the main fan are facing the wrong direction??? I worked for a few major airlines, and from my experiences on modern airliners, all engines rotate counter-clockwise (when viewed from the front). The way the blades of the main fan on the model are oriented, this would be a clockwise rotating engine. I cant really complain, it is a free model after all... and the ones who would notice are aircraft workers like me. But it is a great looking model. Thank you GE.

Hi Renzo!

IMHO..the "mistake" (already fixed with new stl files) was that the blades of the power turbine ( thingy files 7&8) were in the wrong direction and also the diffuser vanes around the rear bearing (file 13) were "flipped".

Now,surely,everything work in the same (and correct) direction and if I turn the crank...the flow is correct! :-)

I agree with you when you say this is a super great model..and the mistakes now are fixed.



Are we missing the front shroud/ stator?

I'm having trouble getting the top part of the rear shaft to print correctly, anyone else have this issue or know of a fix? (Makerbot replicator 2X)

Redbrick - Not sure if you ever got this resolved. I re-sliced it using the Microsoft Netfabb repair service and printed with thick shells, .1 layer height, slow speed. It wasn't perfect but definitely better / good enough to the point where it fits. I hope that helps! - Pete

@ Kojent
The reason the blades are oriented different is becasue this was designed to be a learning aid. With the blades in the same direction it may have confused some people as to the exhaust fans being a separate function (stage) of the engine. There is a remixed version of the exhaust blades for you "hard core" Jet engine enthusiasts :)

Where is the remixed verson at

Why are the turbine and compressor blades oriented in different directions? Unless there's a gearbox somewhere, I don't see why this would be done in a replica, let alone a real jet engine.

Dec 20, 2014 - Modified Dec 20, 2014

How does it fit on the stand? The hump on the shroud gets in the way.

EDIT: Nevermind.... that moment when you realize that your software (S3D) plated two parts in the same space.

Nov 29, 2014 - Modified Nov 30, 2014

Please help me. I'm having problems can't slice file 1_-_Shroud using skeinforge. Other files, OK

Anyone have same problem can't slice using skeinforge?

Try running the file through cloud netfabb


Hello, very good contribution.
I tried to print the pieces and leave me some oversized (very large), you could spend the parts of the original size to arm it with the other. These pieces are the 6, 9, 10 and 12.
Thank you.

I have everything made except the Exhaust turbine. I can;t get it to stick on the first layer. Still trying though.


Where can I find the template box?


GE - in reply to Yes_Papa

Hey there!

You can download the template to make the box here: http://static.tumblr.com/ychvj87/4dVncqqku/jetenginepackaging.pdf

thank you so much. http://www.3dmaker.vn team will print it out

Yes_Papa - in reply to GE


Not a reply. I am interested in finding out this answer as well.

Pop Quiz: is the proper rotation, when facing the fan blades, clockwise (cw) or counter clockwise (ccw) in order to produce thrust? and Why?

That depend son which why you turn the handle/crank

Sep 26, 2014 - Modified Sep 26, 2014
CTRLurself - in reply to vD0gg1t

General aerodynamics is the lazy answer to why. Notice how each of the blades has an airfoil shape to it? The blunter end of a blade always points in the direction of spin. Without explaining the debate on how airfoils work and why, the complete aerodynamic drag equation and some other background, there is no short answer to "why" it just kind of is-the-way-it-is. To back this up empirically - all our data on airfoils, is generated in a wind tunnel, not by equations, we then interpolate and extrapolate this data to approximate new airfoils, then verify THAT in a wind tunnel.

On an airfoil shape blade, this blunted leading edge helps reduce the drag on something that is, in essence, an aerodynamic body. It's not flying through the air freely, but you really only care about how well (sic: efficiently) it interacts with the air. The shape of the airfoil is dictated by how much space is allowed, how fast it's designed to spin, the total thrust required, etc, etc. There are different sets of airfoils designed for different regimes of conditions and ranges of performance, because what is idea for one setup, isn't necessarily ideal for another.

If a blade has a flat cross-section (no airfoil shape to its cross-section) you can always easily tell the direction of flow because one side of the blade will point more towards the next blade, while the other side is pointing more along the axis of rotation. The idea being to "scoop" the air and push it in a direction. These fans should be spun so the blades scoop the air and push it out the back... you can easily re-affirm this, because if you spin it the wrong way you will get basically no flow out of them. These types of blades are only good for relatively low speed applications, as they are more efficient than an airfoil at low speed in regards to the amount of air moved, per decibel of noise generated - there actually is still some airfoil to it's shape, it's just such a huge amount of camber, compared to the thickness of the airfoil that you can't really see it well.

If it's a symmetrical airfoil, orientation doesn't matter, only that it's spinning towards the flat side. This normally only happens on secondary systems (compressors, decompressors, exhaust), where you basically already know the speed and density of air, so most people never encounter these. Fans on the intake will be one of the two styles described above.

Wow. Great Answer. A lot more than I was looking for but very informative. Thanks for the explanation. The hydrofoiling on the america's cup boats are very similar. Plus, the supercavitating foils on sailrocket (sailrocket.com) are pretty interesting as well.

Does anyone have the files to make the box? Looking to print out the box like they have in the pictures.

printed one, and everything looks awesome, but the stand doesn't fit on my simple :-( It's just slightly too long.

You could use the it feature in rpetire to quickly cut off a little from each end if that'll get you close enough

Does it fit if you rotate the angle slightly? I had to do that on my Printrbot Jr.

No, I had tried that and it didn't work. Thinkin3d was kind enough to remix it for me, so there's now a version that will print on my printer. Thanks for the tip though.

Aug 15, 2014 - Modified Aug 18, 2014

Thanks GE, yea we had a ton of fun with this one, make sure to check out the VIDEO guys to see this one in action on the power drill!


I have just uploaded a motor drive that replaces the hand crank for this model. The drive mechanism is built in to a box that sits under a modified version of the stand, and a chain drives a gear that attaches the rear cone.


Jet Engine Model Motor Drive
by Jon_S

well.. what does it do?

I just sliced the Shroud using Makerware v2.4.1.24 with no issues. I have not printed this yet.

Unfortunately the ReplicatorG software is failing trying to create the gcode for the first part, the Shroud :( All other parts created fine otherwise.

Aug 14, 2014 - Modified Aug 14, 2014

Haha, Checkout out a video of this model in action here:


LIKE, COMMENT, and SUBSCRIBE if you would like us to continue making videos for the featured content here on Thingiverse!!! = P

Very cool video! And great idea with the drill, looks awesome! Thanks for sharing.

This would be SO much more realistic if it came with GE's tax evasion code.

But what we really need GE to publish is useful stuff like STL files for replacement knobs, buttons, latches, and wot-not for GE appliances :-).

Has anyone had issues printing this? I have tried to print the main fan twice and both failed with my makerbot replicator 2 trying to exceed the build volume (once in x and once in y) the stl files seem fine but the slicing seems off.

I have been using makerware, 100% infill Standard and low quality.

Thanks to everyone with a helpful response, contacted makerbot and their awesome support team suggested a flash of the firmware, seems to have resolved the issue and I am back to printing! Thanks again

This doesnt exactly pertain to you, but try printing in pla on blue painters tape thats been wiped with rubbing alcohol. I Tried printing this on a cubex with the acrylic plate and their "glue" and it kept lifting, however when i did it on my printrbot simple metal with the painters tape and rubbing alcohol it printed like a dream. Also, dont forget to knock down the tape with a little 400 grit sand paper.

Thanks for the response, ended up contacting makerbot and their awesome support team suggested a flash of the firmware, seems to have resolved the issue and I am back to printing! Thanks again!

Hi Luis I have a Rep 2 and was able to print with no problems, using standard settings, with a raft. I put all the engine parts on the stage at once, and added some "ears" so the raft would not warp. Then I printed the stand separately in a different color, also standard settings with a raft, and with some ears.added. Good luck!

Thanks for the response, ended up contacting makerbot and their awesome support team suggested a flash of the firmware, seems to have resolved the issue and I am back to printing! Thanks again!

I had a build issue with my Printrbot Simple XL (modified with a heating element mounted to a XL aluminum bed upgrade) with printer settings of 0.3mm layer height and using 1.75mm PLA. The problem was with the use of the heated bed, which caused the bottom of the thin blades from the main fan to flex halfway through the build. The solution was to turn off the hot plate... resulting a perfect fan build on the 1st attempt.

In your case, if it is failing at the slicer than it sounds like you my need a larger print bed/printer or either scale the model down fit your print area.

Thanks for the response, ended up contacting makerbot and their awesome support team suggested a flash of the firmware, seems to have resolved the issue and I am back to printing! Thanks again!

Buy a new machine, This is what happens when you buy crap like makerbot.

Nice. Guy asks for help and instead of suggesting how to fix his tool you become one.

What is it that you print with that is so much better?

Hi "ahntlia" if you can't be nice or helpful perhaps you shouldn't comment. This user has asked for help and you're just being snarky. Second, Makerbot makes fine printers. Check my profile if you want to see a lot of cool stuff which has been printed with one. Including this very thing.

Jul 31, 2014 - Modified Jul 31, 2014

Step #5 of the instructions is missing the rear bearing from step #4. Step #5 and #6 are all missing the rear bearing. Make sure you have that bearing in place because you can't put it on after you glue those parts together.


Are the fins on the exhaust and rear bearing pointing the right way? I think you have them inverted. Never seen a jet engine with the compressor and exhaust vanes in opposite rotation.

I've switched the direction of the exhaust turbine and stator blades. Files have been uploaded.
Patrick Saville

GE Jet Engine Nacelle & Stand
I made a stand and nacelle.

GE Jet Engine Nacelle & Stand
by idarts

This is so awesome, it must be too awesome to be featured! Instead today we have more plant holders, wrist guards and pavement messer-uppers... . Way to go Thingiverse!

Would it work properly with a DC motor?

Does anybody know the rough volume? I'm getting one manufactured and the quote is based on cubic centimetres. Cheers.

Use Slic3r or something to slice the files and open them in Notepad. The volume approximation is at the bottom.

nice! will print one this weekend

I agree with chowmix12. Great stuff you guys do. I would also love to see an Arriel cutaway maybe even with transmission... http://globalturbineasia.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/Arriel-2B-2C-moteur.pnghttp://globalturbineasia.com/w...

Can you design an A10 ThunderBolt or a GAU8 for your next design? Love the things that GE has submitted!

Piece number 12 is now uploaded. Thanks to everyone who flagged the issue, and engineered their own pieces! We're loving all the awesome builds of it so far. If there is any feedback on this model, or any suggestions for what we might make next, please let us know in the comments!

I'm getting errors when I generate the code for part 1. The others seem to work fine. Anyone else have trouble with the shroud part?

Jul 30, 2014 - Modified Jul 30, 2014
MacGyver - in reply to jklier

Skeinforge 50 is puking on mine too. I ran it through the Netfabb cloud and now it slices just fine. Good luck!

I created a replacement number 12 part. Its not perfect but it fits and works.

Part number 12 replacement for GE Build Your Own Jet Engine
by McSquid

I can't seem to find part #12 . . . its the front retainer to hold the cowl/shroud to the shaft.
Printed what was there so far on a makerbot, most excellent quality. So far everything fits like a glove.
You can print the whole thing on one single plate, but you might get some distortion from the stand (because its a wide piece), shell (because of how tall you might want to print closer to the center), and shroud (same as the stand, its wide and might tear away from the build plate).
Excellent work on the model, all the little buckets/discs/blades fit really well. Enough tolerance was given in the bearings, a very well thought out model. Great job. We need to see more of this stuff.
If you print in PLA, you might have some difficulty glueing (yes there are some spots where you should glue). Most superglues do not adhere to PLA, so you'll need to use something different.

nvm this piece isn't big enough.

Yes, I've printed almost the complete thing and now I see that #12 is missing. :( I hope they post it soon.

This one worked for me (with a little trimming): http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:393595http://www.thingiverse.com/thi...

"Build Your Own Jet Engine" Part 12
by idarts

I also cannot find part #12

If fully enclosed how much air dies this thing actually move? Could it lift it's own weight, for instance?

I don't think it could. I believe this is a simplified version and for it to really work anyhow, you would need fuel.

What's the possibility of a T-701C model? Would be an awesome training aid for my troops during my engine run training class.