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
The amount of plastic clogging the ocean continues to grow. Some startling, not-so-good news has come out recently about the roles plastic is playing in the ocean, as well as more heartening news about efforts to collect and reuse it.
Optomec's third America Makes project for metal 3D printing teams the LENS process company with GE Aviation, Lockheed, and other big aerospace names to develop guidelines for repairing high-value flight-critical Air Force components.
Lots of people who write about robots say they give us jobs, instead of taking them away from humans. Based on the evidence in some recent studies, I'm not so sure.
A self-propelled robot developed by a team of researchers headed by MIT promises to detect leaks quickly and accurately in gas pipelines, eliminating the likelihood of dangerous explosions. The robot may also be useful in water and petroleum pipe leak detection.
Aerojet Rocketdyne has built and successfully hot-fire tested an entire 3D-printed rocket engine. In other news, NASA's 3D-printed rocket engine injectors survived tests generating a record 20,000 pounds of thrust. Some performed equally well or better than welded parts.
Design News Webinar Series
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
5/13/2014 10:00 a.m. California / 1:00 p.m. New York / 6:00 p.m. London
Quick Poll
The Continuing Education Center offers engineers an entirely new way to get the education they need to formulate next-generation solutions.
Aug 4 - 8, Introduction to Linux Device Drivers
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: August 12 - 14
Sponsored by igus
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