Refer and Earn

Turbofan Jet Engine Design and Modelling (Independent Project)- SOLIDWORKS

Joel John
updated on Jun 02, 2020, 10:25am IST

                                                                                                                   Design and Model a Turbofan Jet Engine

                                                                                                                              (INDEPENDENT PROJECT)




Softwares Used

    • Solidworks 2018
       Photoview 360 (Solidworks add-in)

    • Solidworks Visualize 2018



The objective of this project is to design, model and render a Turbofan Jet Engine using Solidworks and Solidworks Visualize 2018.

The main intent of this project is to demonstrate the skills that I have acquired through this course “Ultimate Solidworks”. Both Solid and Surface modelling principles were applied in this project.

The technical properties such as materials, processes, dimensions, tolerances etc were not deliberated in this model. Application of Design intent and modelling parameters was done.



A turbofan or fanjet is a type of air-breathing jet engine that is widely used in aircraft propulsion. A turbofan engine is the most modern variation of the basic gas turbine engine. As with other gas turbines, there is a core engine. In the turbofan engine, the core engine is surrounded by a fan in the front which sucks in air and additional turbine(s) at the rear. Most of the air flows around the outside of the engine, making it quieter and giving more thrust at low speeds. Most of today's airliners are powered by turbofans.

Its basic working is explained here. The incoming air is captured by the engine inlet. Some of the incoming air passes through the fan and continues on into the core compressor and then the burner, where it is mixed with fuel and combustion occurs. The hot exhaust passes through the core and fan turbines and then out the nozzle, as in a basic turbojet. The rest of the incoming air passes through the fan and bypasses, or goes around the engine, just like the air through a propeller. The air that goes through the fan has a velocity that is slightly increased from free stream. So a turbofan gets some of its thrust from the core and some of its thrust from the fan

I have designed a 2 spool internal system with a Fan, Low Pressure and High Pressure Compressors, Low Pressure and High Pressure Turbines, Combustion chamber and Stator vanes.

On the exterior, I have designed the Fuel Injectors, Casing, Exhaust cone, Frames/Struts, Nacelle with Exhaust nozzle.



1.Design and Modelling

1.Rotating Section

This is a 2 spool system. The first spool consists of the main shaft with the fan, low pressure compressor and low pressure turbine attached to it. The second spool consists of a shaft with the high pressure compressor and high pressure turbine.The fan shaft passes through the core shaft for mechanical reasons.

                                                                                                                             Fig 1- The rotating section (L to R)- Fan, Low pressure compressor( with blades), High pressure compressor (with blades), High pressure turbines (first two), Low pressure turbines (remaining four) and Nozzle Cone


Fan- The first part of the turbofan is the fan. It sucks in tremendous quantities of air into the engine.The air moves through two parts of the engine. Some of the air is directed into the engine's core, where the combustion will occur. The rest of the air, called "bypass air", is moved around the outside of the engine core through a duct. This bypass air creates additional thrust, cools the engine, and makes the engine quieter by blanketing the exhaust air that's exiting the engine. 

(Fan blades are connected to each other using midspan shrouds to prevent them from twisting due to the aerodynamic loads on the airfoils. But this is no longer used in modern Turbofans. It's added here only for aesthetic purposes.)

Compressor- The compressor is located in the first part of the engine core. It uses a series of airfoil shaped spinning blades to speed up and compress the air. It's called axial flow, because the air passes through the engine in a direction parallel to the shaft of the engine (as opposed to centrifugal flow). As the air moves through the compressor, each set of blades is slightly smaller, adding more energy and compression to the air.

Turbine- The turbine is a series of airfoil shaped blades that are very similar to the blades in the compressor. As the hot, high-speed air flows over the turbine blades, they extract energy from the air, spinning the turbine around in a circle, and turning the engine shaft that it's connected to. This is the same shaft that the fan and compressor are connected to, so by spinning the turbine, the fan and compressor on the front of the engine continue sucking in more air that will soon be mixed with fuel and burned.

Nozzle Cone- The last step of the process happens in the nozzle. The nozzle is essentially the exhaust duct of the engine, and it's where the high speed air shoots out the back. By forcing air out the back of the engine at high speed, the airplane is pushed forward.


Commands Used- Sketch, Offset Entities, Convert Entities, Lofted Boss (for fan and compressor blade modelling), Revolved Boss, Circular Pattern (for patterning the blades around the fan, compressor and turbines), Linear Pattern (for patterning the blades along the compressor), Extruded Cut, Chamfer, Fillet, Split Body (for uniformly decreasing the size of blades), Revolved Cut, Extruded Boss, Split Line, Helix/Spiral ( for the fan nose cone design), Combine.

New Planes were created as and when necessary.

(Sketch refers to the requisite geometry viz. line, circle, spline, arc, ellipse, straight slot, rectangle, etc. or a combination of them as well as the sketch relations applied between them viz. equal curvature, parallel, perpendicular, tangent, equal etc.)


                                                                                                                   Fig 2- Rotating Section render



This section consists of the supporting structure for the rotating section aling with Stator Vanes, Fuel Injectors, Combustion chamber. 


      Fig 3- Casing Split view. Stator vanes are provided between the compressor and the turbine blades. The gold coloured circular arrangement are Fuel Injectors with their nozzle situated in the combustion chamber


                                                                                                                                     Fig 4- Casing

Stator Vanes- In between each set of compressor blades are non-moving airfoil shaped blades called "stators". These stators (which are also called vanes), increase the pressure of the air by converting the rotational energy into static pressure. The stators also prepare the air for entering the next set of rotating blades. In other words, they "straighten" the flow of air.

Combustor( Fuel Injector and Chamber)- The combustor is where the fire happens. As air exits the compressor and enters the combustor, it is mixed with fuel, and ignited. The combustor needs to maintain a stable combustion of fuel/air mixture, while the air is moving through the combustor at an extremely fast rate. The fuel injector sprays fuel into the air, creating a fuel/air mixture that can be ignited. From there, the liner is where the actual combustion happens. The liner has several inlets (holes), allowing air to enter at multiple points in the combustion zone.

Support Struts/Frames- Struts attach the tail cone with the casing and acts as a structural support as well as an aerodynamic component.


Commands Used- Sketch, Offset Entities, Convert Entities, Revolved Surface, Thicken (for converting the Surface body into a Solid body), Extruded Boss, Circular Pattern (for creating the recurring stator vanes, fuel injectors), Combine, Extruded Cut, Chamfer, Revolved Boss, Body-Move/Copy (for adjusting the position of the fuel injectors), Swept Boss (for creating the fuel tubing), 3D Sketch, Linear Pattern (for the supply ports). 

New Planes were created as and when necessary.

The part was first designed as a surface body and then thickened to convert it into a Solid Body before adding other features.


                                                                                                                         Fig 5- Casing render


                                                                                                                       Fig 6- Casing Split view render



                                                                                                     Fig 7- Casing and Rotating section split view render


                                                                                                        Fig 8- Casing and Rotating section render


                                                                                                         Fig 9- Casing and Rotating section render 2


 Fig 10- Casing and Rotating section zoomed in (L to R) Low pressure Compressor, High pressure Compressor, Fuel Injectors and Combustion Chamber, High pressure Turbines (First two), Low pressure Turbines



A nacelle is a housing that holds engines, fuel, or equipment on an aircraft. The primary design issue with any aircraft-mounted nacelle is aerodynamics. Nacelles attached to wings are almost always mounted underneath, as this is the "high pressure" side of an aircraft wing. The exhaust nozzle is also situated at the end.


                                                                                                         Fig 11- Nacelle side view with exhaust nozzle

The part was first designed as a surface body and then thickened to convert it into a Solid Body.

Commands Used- Revolved Surface, Trim Surface (for performing a Surface Loft), Lofted Surface (for the assymetric front portion), Knit Surface (to knit any gaps formed from the trim operation), Thicken (for creating a Solid body), Revolved Cut, Circular Pattern (for the tail), Chamfer, Fillet, Split Line.


                                                                                                                       Fig 12- Nacelle side view render

For each part, suitable appearances were applied.



Assembled the parts of the jet engine using relations and Standard Mates(Coincident, Concentric and Distance mates).

Plane orientation/alignment was taken care of while performing the mating.


                                                                                                                          Fig 13- Assembly Split View


                                                                                                                         Fig 14- Assembly render


                                                                                                                  Fig 15- Assembly split view render


                                                                                                                    Fig 16- Assembly side view render


                                                                                                                  Fig 16- Assembly front view render


                                                                                                                     Fig 17- Exploded view render



Photorealistic rendering of the model was done using Solidworks Visualize.

The assembly was imported to Solidworks Visualize. The Environment, Backplate and Camera positions were chosen and tweaked accordingly to give the image a photorealistic finish. 

Two renderings were done using different views and scenes.


                                                                                                        Fig 18- Render 1 using Solidworks Visualize


                                   Fig 19- Render 2 using Solidworks Visualize



By applying solid and surface modelling methodologies, the design and assembly of Turbofan Jet Engine was completed using Solidworks 2018. The model was given a photorealistic render using Solidworks Visualize 2018. 

The project took 70 man hours to complete, including the time taken for rendering.

This model can be further improvised by adding other parts such as the hydraulic,pneumatic and electrical components consisting of numerous narrow tubing and wiring.

The idea behind the project was to demonstrate the basic working principle of a Turbofan Jet Engine by applying the Solidworks skills that I learned through this course.




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