On June 23, Aerojet Rocketdyne, manufacturer of rockets and missile propulsion systems, performed a series of hot-fire tests on a Bantam demonstration engine that was made entirely with 3D printing. Best of all, the engine, which will help the GenCorp company develop more cost-effective engines for booster, upper-stage, and in-space propulsion, passed those tests successfully.
Director of Advanced Launch Propulsion Programs at Aerojet Rocketdyne, Jay Littles, explains that this rocket wasn’t only partially made with additive manufacturing, it was completely 3D printed, “The demonstration of this engine, made completely with additive manufacturing, is another significant milestone in our path to changing propulsion affordability. We are not just making a stand-alone chamber or injector derived from traditional design approaches. Rather, we are integrating the full capability of additive manufacturing processes to evolve a proven, reliable, affordable design. We are doing so with technical depth and rigor to meet our unparalleled quality and safety requirements.”
By additively manufacturing aerospace components such as the Bantam engine, manufacturers can create complex, efficient designs, while reducing the number of separate moving parts. This engine, for instance, is normally made up of dozens of parts, but, in the case of the 3D printed upgrade, there are only three separate components: the combination injector and dome assembly, the combustion chamber, and a combination throat and nozzle section. Adapting a proven design of the Atlas Sustainer engine, the Aerojet Rocketdyne team was able to reduce design and manufacturing time from over a year to a couple of months. Additionally, the cost of the engine was brought down a stunning 65%….
Every Thursday is #3dthursday here at Adafruit! The DIY 3D printing community has passion and dedication for making solid objects from digital models. Recently, we have noticed electronics projects integrated with 3D printed enclosures, brackets, and sculptures, so each Thursday we celebrate and highlight these bold pioneers!
Have you considered building a 3D project around an Arduino or other microcontroller? How about printing a bracket to mount your Raspberry Pi to the back of your HD monitor? And don’t forget the countless LED projects that are possible when you are modeling your projects in 3D!
We are angry, frustrated, and in pain because of the violence and murder of Black people by the police because of racism. We are in the fight AGAINST RACISM. George Floyd was murdered, his life stolen. The Adafruit teams have specific actions we’ve done, are doing, and will do together as a company and culture. We are asking the Adafruit community to get involved and share what you are doing. The Adafruit teams will not settle for a hash tag, a Tweet, or an icon change. We will work on real change, and that requires real action and real work together. That is what we will do each day, each month, each year – we will hold ourselves accountable and publish our collective efforts, partnerships, activism, donations, openly and publicly. Our blog and social media platforms will be utilized in actionable ways. Join us and the anti-racist efforts working to end police brutality, reform the criminal justice system, and dismantle the many other forms of systemic racism at work in this country, read more @ adafruit.com/blacklivesmatter
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.