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3D-Printed rocket successfully designed, built and tested

Posted by: Rob Goldsmith - Wed Oct 09, 2013 11:37 am
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3D-Printed rocket successfully designed, built and tested 
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Post 3D-Printed rocket successfully designed, built and tested   Posted on: Wed Oct 09, 2013 11:37 am
University Students Successfully Test 3D-Printed Rocket Engine
A group of students forming the UC San Diego chapter of the organization known as Students for the Exploration and Development of Space represented the Jacobs School of Engineering when they conducted a hot fire test for a 3D-printed metal rocket engine that they, themselves designed. The rocket engine, aptly named Tri-D, was tested at the Friends of Amateur Rocketry launch site in the Mojave Desert on the morning of Saturday, October 5th.
“It was a resounding success and could be the next step in the development of cheaper propulsion systems and a commercializing of space,” said President Deepak Atyam.

The students worked closely with NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center to research the feasibility of additively manufactured rocket engines and designed an injector plate that employed the greatest features of 3D-printing technology. This method of constructing rocket engines opens possibilities for a whole new level of design with relatively few constraints, when compared to conventional methods of fabrication. Using additive manufacturing technology to print whole rocket engines greatly benefits the aerospace industry by cutting development costs to a fraction of what is associated with conventional manufacturing methods.

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Post Re: 3D-Printed rocket successfully designed, built and tested   Posted on: Wed Oct 09, 2013 1:23 pm
Of course the catch is that 3D printers capable of sintering the high strength metals required for a practical rocket motor aren't exactly cheap and probably won't be for the foreseeable future.


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Post Re: 3D-Printed rocket successfully designed, built and tested   Posted on: Thu Oct 10, 2013 6:13 pm
Thanks for the notice on this. Here's the link:

3-D-printed rocket engine built by students passes hot-fire test.
Megan Gannon Space.com
http://www.nbcnews.com/science/3-d-prin ... 8C11363473


We could have 3-D printed rocket engines and propellant tanks on the Moon. Then since the propellant could also be produced on the Moon, we could have interplanetary flights to Mars or the asteroids launched from the Moon.

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Post Re: 3D-Printed rocket successfully designed, built and tested   Posted on: Fri Oct 11, 2013 12:18 am
With insitu manufacturing the possibilities are limitless. It will be the key point where we can really begin to expand beyond Earth. All you have to lift off the Earth are "biologicals", people, plants and animals, and few other organic chemicals and drugs.


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Post Re: 3D-Printed rocket successfully designed, built and tested   Posted on: Fri Oct 11, 2013 9:54 am
JamesG wrote:
Of course the catch is that 3D printers capable of sintering the high strength metals required for a practical rocket motor aren't exactly cheap and probably won't be for the foreseeable future.


Neither are the CNC machines needed to make complicated motor designs. In fact, 3D printing motors means you can design stuff that is not physically possible to make using machining. That has to be worth a premium. And whilst it may take a while, the cost will decrease.


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Post Re: 3D-Printed rocket successfully designed, built and tested   Posted on: Fri Oct 11, 2013 12:18 pm
Well its not entirely clear if that feature is particularly practical to rockets. While it is "neato" to be able to seal something within a "casting", there are other solutions.

And the cost of metal printing, because of the energy & precision required, as well as the... legal implications of it mean that there will probably never be a "metal makerbot".


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Post Re: 3D-Printed rocket successfully designed, built and tested   Posted on: Sun Oct 13, 2013 4:39 am
when they can do this and grow thin films on the rocket engine

piezoelectric vibration dampening that also puts out power and reduces stress

Thin film thermionics,

Thin film strengthening agents,


this could lead to very light rockets as it could reduce the mechanical strength required as the metal would endure less fatigue, and the energy absorbed could be used to power a MHD that sped up the rocket exhaust.

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