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Using 3D printing cuts the production process of the engine injector from one year to four months, and cuts the cost by 70 percent

An American rocket manufacturer has successfully used 3D printing to build one of the main components of a rocket -- the engine injector.

American rocket company Aerojet Rocketdyne designed and fabricated the 3D printed engine injector while NASA's Glenn Research Center and the Air Force Research Laboratory at Edwards Air Force Base in California helped it test the component. 

Aerojet Rocketdyne made the engine injector using selective laser melting manufacturing technology, which uses high-powered laser beams to melt and merge metallic powders into 3D structures. 

NASA and the Air Force lab then helped Aerojet Rocketdyne test the 3D printed engine injector through hot fire testing of a liquid oxygen and gaseous hydrogen rocket injector assembly.

[Image Source: NASA Glenn Research Center]

To manufacture this component with traditional systems would take over a year. However, using 3D printing reduces this time frame to only four months. 

It also cuts the cost of production by 70 percent. 

"NASA recognizes that on Earth and potentially in space, additive manufacturing can be game-changing for new mission opportunities, significantly reducing production time and cost by 'printing' tools, engine parts or even entire spacecraft," said Michael Gazarik, NASA's associate administrator for space technology in Washington. "3-D manufacturing offers opportunities to optimize the fit, form and delivery systems of materials that will enable our space missions while directly benefiting American businesses here on Earth."

Source: NASA



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I want two fabricators pls
By TheEinstein on 7/12/2013 5:11:50 PM , Rating: 5
Then I shall clone them, make them mobile, and I will call them replicators. maybe I will give them 6 legs and some nonfunctional wings. To help them produce effectively I will use IBM's best AI as well.

Nothing can go wrong with this.




RE: I want two fabricators pls
By Samus on 7/12/2013 8:47:24 PM , Rating: 3
when 3D printers can print 3D printers, we have reason to be scared...


RE: I want two fabricators pls
By annabelle101 on 7/18/2013 1:53:10 PM , Rating: 2
If you think Dennis`s story is really great,, in the last-month my friend's brother basically also recieved a check for $4770 putting in eleven hours a week from there house and their buddy's mom`s neighbour did this for four months and easily made over $4770 in their spare time from there labtop. follow the guidelines available here... www.Kep2.coM


RE: I want two fabricators pls
By HostileEffect on 7/13/2013 10:59:39 AM , Rating: 2
Too much sg1


RE: I want two fabricators pls
By SamMaster on 7/13/2013 12:17:53 PM , Rating: 5
No such thing


RE: I want two fabricators pls
By marvdmartian on 7/15/2013 8:00:36 AM , Rating: 2
Not if you remember to teach them the 3 laws of robotics, that is!


By inperfectdarkness on 7/15/2013 4:22:35 PM , Rating: 2
Sorry, bro. The shipment of 12 industrial replicators was just hijacked by the Maquis.


hmm
By chromal on 7/12/2013 8:52:35 PM , Rating: 2
I have to wonder if something fabricated by lightly fusing metal powders with a laser will really stand up to the extreme heat and pressures of a rocket engine as well as something cast or forged out of more exotic materials.

Still, an interesting demonstration.




RE: hmm
By ebakke on 7/12/2013 10:47:27 PM , Rating: 4
Isn't that the whole point of testing it?


RE: hmm
By maugrimtr on 7/16/2013 6:41:19 AM , Rating: 2
Molten metal is molten metal... So long as the end result is operates within the specifications required and passes all quality control and safety checks, it doesn't matter how it's melted down and cast.


RE: hmm
By deksman2 on 7/14/2013 4:30:05 AM , Rating: 2
If the metal powders used are synthetic derivatives with superior properties that we can produce in abundance (which we could do for decades), then withstanding/enduring extreme heat and pressures of a rocket engine is an easily accomplished tasks.

And 3d printers can already make other 3d printers (machines making machines).
Its nothing new really.

The question left here what are the materials used.
Are they going to use the materials such as I mentioned, or will they focus on the 'cheap stuff' that will produce sub-par results?


RE: hmm
By deltaend on 7/17/2013 12:12:14 PM , Rating: 2
"Machines making machines! How perverse." - C3PO


we are doomed
By UpSpin on 7/12/2013 5:26:18 PM , Rating: 4
So you mean terrorists can not only print guns, they can print rockets now too? OMG, we are all doomed, ban this stuff asap /s




somebody has to ask
By GulWestfale on 7/12/2013 10:10:33 PM , Rating: 2
so... can i print myself a bigger "nozzle" for my "rocket"?




RE: somebody has to ask
By mmatis on 7/13/2013 3:48:08 PM , Rating: 2
Your female acquaintances say you sure better!


Fly me to the moon...
By LBID on 7/12/2013 4:50:57 PM , Rating: 2
...my space minions are already busy fabricating my new hidden base using this technology!




By bobjjones on 7/12/2013 5:31:04 PM , Rating: 2
All your base are belong to us.




Skynet
By btc909 on 7/12/2013 11:25:26 PM , Rating: 2
Skynet is very happy.




"We can't expect users to use common sense. That would eliminate the need for all sorts of legislation, committees, oversight and lawyers." -- Christopher Jennings

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