3D-Printed Rockets NASA
NASA astronauts will soon return to the Moon as part of the Artemis program, and the data there will be used to train them for human exploration of Mars. Additive manufacturing, a tean from NASA, industry, and academia are pioneering methods to 3D print the rocket parts that could one day power these missions. Rapid Analysis and Manufacturing Propulsion Technology project (RAMPT) is currently developing an additive manufacturing technique to 3D print rocket engine parts using metal powder and lasers. Read more for a video and additionnal information.



This method consists of blown powder directed energy deposition, and could bring down costs and could significantly cut lead times for producing large, complex engine components like nozzles as well as combustion chambers. Unlike traditional 3d printers, this printing method injects metal powder into a laser-heated pool of molten metal, while the blown powder nozzle and laser optics are integrated into a print-head. A robot then moves this print-head in a pattern determined by a computer building one layer at a time.

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This technology advancement is significant, as it allows us to produce the most difficult and expensive rocket engine parts for a lower price tag than in the past. Further, it will allow companies within and outside of the aerospace industry to do the same and apply this manufacturing technology to the medical, transportation, and infrastructure industries,” said Drew Hope, manager of NASA’s Game Changing Development Program, which funds the RAMPT project.