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3D Printed Rocket Engines

November 28, 2017

Engineers are using 3D printers to build rocket engines.

Transcript

BOB HIRSHON (host):

Printing rocket engines. I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

At a company called Tri-D Dynamics, rocket engines grow almost imperceptibly from the ground up, through a 3D printing process known as direct metal laser sintering. Each engine starts as a container of metal dust that lasers fuse into solid layers less than the width of a hair, one on top of another. As slow as this process seems, CEO and co-founder Deepak Atyam says it’s faster than traditional methods.

DEEPAK ATYAM (Tri-D Dynamics):

Normally, a rocket engine takes over a year to produce one, and we’re actually developing technology to bring that time down to manufacture to weeks, if not days.

HIRSHON:

And while they’re currently printing tabletop-size engines for smaller payloads, Atyam says the process can be scaled up to print even the room-sized F1 engines used on the most massive spacecraft. I’m Bob Hirshon, for AAAS, the science society.

Story by Bob Hirshon