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3D-Printed Rockets Help Propel NASA’s Space Launch System #3dthursday

RocketPiece

Via Wired UK.

Parts for the rocket engines of NASA’s Space Launch System will be created using a method of 3D-printing known as selective laser melting.

The space agency is taking advantage of new technology to help improve safety and save money as it builds the SLS — a heavy-lift launch vehicle intended to facilitate long-duration deep space exploration, including trips to near-Earth asteroids and, ultimately, to Mars.

“It’s the latest in direct metal 3D printing — we call it additive manufacturing now,” says Ken Cooper, leader of the Advanced Manufacturing Team at the Marshall Centre. “It takes fine layers of metal powder and welds those together with a laser beam to fuse a three-dimensional object from a computer file.”

Although not all of the rocket parts can be generated using the current SLM process, it can be used to improve the overall safety of the system by creating the geometrically complex pieces which would normally require a lot of welding.

Read More.


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