HOME  |  NEWS  |  BLOGS  |  MESSAGES  |  FEATURES  |  VIDEOS  |  WEBINARS  |  INDUSTRIES  |  FOCUS ON FUNDAMENTALS
  |  REGISTER  |  LOGIN  |  HELP
Blogs
Engineering Materials

Lockheed & RedEye Team to 3D-Print Rocket Fuel Tanks

NO RATINGS
View Comments: Newest First|Oldest First|Threaded View
Page 1/3  >  >>
Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Really impressed
Ann R. Thryft   6/19/2014 12:34:57 PM
NO RATINGS
I sure wouldn't want to be that pilot, Mr. Wirtel.
As a reminder, the $250K and 6 months figures were estimates of how long it would take to make multiple functioning prototypes via traditional machining. These two 3D-printed versions cost about half that much--so around $125K--and took less time.



Cabe Atwell
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Really impressed
Cabe Atwell   6/18/2014 11:12:55 PM
NO RATINGS
I agree you ttemple, I think the tanks are part of a feasibility study on if they could be manufactured that way. 

Mr. Wirtel
User Rank
Gold
Re: Really impressed
Mr. Wirtel   6/18/2014 8:30:32 PM
NO RATINGS
@Ann: Not to mention the fact that someone will have to pilot that craft and I find it hard to believe anyone could convince a crew that something printed and glued together is perfectly safe for space travel.

Mr. Wirtel
User Rank
Gold
Re: Really impressed
Mr. Wirtel   6/18/2014 8:26:41 PM
NO RATINGS
@Dave: The first number that jumped out at me was the $250,000 for nonfunctioning prototypes. That certainly sounds like entirely too much. Then again it is government work and no need to turn a profit or justify expenses.

bobjengr
User Rank
Platinum
LOOKHEED & REDEYE
bobjengr   6/13/2014 5:35:26 PM
NO RATINGS
This is definitely the purpose "additive" manufacturing is finding new uses every month if not every week.  Some years ago I worked for a company that designed and sold ASME Section IV Boilers.  The most critical design was the end caps and insertion of those end caps into the body of the vessel.  I'm not surprised the fabrication took 150 hours.  Think of the tooling dollars saved due to the process.  I also would love to know the adhesive used for the prototypes and if any pressure testing was conducted.  For the ASME vessels, the working pressure was 150 PSI with a test pressure of 300 PSI.  I'm sure that is not the case here.  Great post Ann.  These just shows how the technology is improving and progressing each year.  This is a great "marriage" also and one I'm sure will be lasting. 

Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Really impressed
Ann R. Thryft   6/4/2014 12:07:23 PM
NO RATINGS
Liz, considering that such tanks have already been made with composites, and that aerospace is one of the leading sectors pushing production parts in 3D printing, it's quite possible these will be produced by 3D printing in the future.

Elizabeth M
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Really impressed
Elizabeth M   6/4/2014 5:55:20 AM
NO RATINGS
You are probably right, Ann, to have your doubts. And until all those doubts are eased, and the production becomes foolproof, it's best to leave this type of thing to prototypes and models, especially when hazardous substances are involved. But with the advancements in metal 3D printing that seem to be increasing, perhaps eventually this will change.

Cabe Atwell
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Really impressed
Cabe Atwell   6/3/2014 7:50:35 PM
NO RATINGS
I agree you ttemple, I think the tanks are part of a feasibility study on if they could be manufactured that way. 

Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Really impressed
Ann R. Thryft   6/3/2014 1:23:21 PM
NO RATINGS
Liz, I also wondered, like Lou, if that isn't possible. Although we have seen huge composite rocket fuel tanks, which we wrote about here
http://www.designnews.com/author.asp?section_id=1392&doc_id=272890
the non-metallic materials that are 3D printable aren't likely to be up to the job, and I'm doubtful about bonding methods. I'm also not at all sure if either metallic materials or assembly methods for 3D printed parts are, either.

Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Really impressed
Ann R. Thryft   6/3/2014 1:12:25 PM
NO RATINGS
Lou, I wondered the same thing for the same reasons, but there wasn't any mention of that possibility. Lockheed is still a ways away from final design, though, so they may yet make such an announcement.



Page 1/3  >  >>
Partner Zone
More Blogs from Engineering Materials
At IMTS last week, Stratasys introduced two new multi-materials PolyJet 3D printers, plus a new UV-resistant material for its FDM production 3D printers. They can be used in making jigs and fixtures, as well as prototypes and small runs of production parts.
GE Aviation not only plans to use 3D printing to mass-produce metal parts for its LEAP jet engine, but it's also developing a separate technology for 3D-printing metal parts used in its other engines.
The demand for solar energy around the world will grow a total of 75% by 2019, according to a new report by Lux Research. Trade disputes and policy changes, though, will complicate the picture.
Bayer MaterialScience is using CO2 to produce a precursor for high-quality polyurethane foam at its pilot plant in Leverkusen. The transition to full-scale manufacturing is expected in 2016.
Plastic bags can become useful as either raw materials for plastics or feedstock for fuel. It's when they're not recycled that they become a major problem. That's what California's bag ban will prevent.
Design News Webinar Series
9/10/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
7/23/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
7/17/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
6/25/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
Quick Poll
The Continuing Education Center offers engineers an entirely new way to get the education they need to formulate next-generation solutions.
Sep 22 - 26, MCU Software Development A Step-by-Step Guide (Using a Real Eval Board)
SEMESTERS: 1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6


Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.
Next Class: September 30 - October 2
Sponsored by Altera
Learn More   |   Login   |   Archived Classes
Twitter Feed
Design News Twitter Feed
Like Us on Facebook

Sponsored Content

Technology Marketplace

Copyright © 2014 UBM Canon, A UBM company, All rights reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service