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Engineering Materials

SpaceX Reveals 3D-Printed Rocket Engine Parts

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Ann R. Thryft
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Re: can i make one at home?
Ann R. Thryft   8/22/2014 12:24:35 PM
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Cabe, I'm not exactly sure what you're asking about home printers. Can you clarify your question?



Cabe Atwell
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Re: can i make one at home?
Cabe Atwell   8/21/2014 3:20:31 PM
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Yes, I do remember that other 3D printed engine test. Also impressive.

Best home printer? Resin?

C

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: can i make one at home?
Ann R. Thryft   8/21/2014 11:43:30 AM
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Without emoticons, it's hard to tell in this chat format when people are joking, Lou. I had a feeling you were being serious and humorous all at once. If you look at the changes in what's available in desktop printers over the last 2-3 years, it's been quite amazing. Metals 3D printing poses challenges that are a lot harder to solve for desktops than plastics, such as temperature and quality. So I think that's going to take a lot longer. But I bet it's going to happen sooner than some people imagine.

naperlou
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Re: can i make one at home?
naperlou   8/21/2014 11:35:19 AM
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Ann, I was being a bit flippant, but you are probably correct.  This stuff could be coming very soon.  Coupling that with inexpensive and extensive electronics, and we could see some very cool hobyist stuff.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: can i make one at home?
Ann R. Thryft   8/21/2014 11:30:54 AM
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Pretty amazing, isn't it Cabe? But this isn't the first 3D printed rocket engine/reocket engine part we've reported on recently. NASA and Aerojet Rocketdyne are also in the running. Of course, they've all got much better quality equipment than what's available in desktop machines.



fdos
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Re: can i make one at home?
fdos   8/21/2014 1:30:33 AM
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@Cabe: Sounds a bit disturbing isn't it ? Well I feel you do need to give some time for it to make amendments and come out strongly. 

Cabe Atwell
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Re: can i make one at home?
Cabe Atwell   8/21/2014 12:22:24 AM
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Holy smokes! This changes everything. 3D printed parts are getting substantial weight into outer space. 

On a realted note.. I tried to 3D print a plastic clip. It took 8 times to get one to look right... it broke.

 

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: can i make one at home?
Ann R. Thryft   8/20/2014 1:50:34 PM
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Lou, thanks for your comments coming from within the aerospace industry.
I agree, it will be something else entirely when desktop machines can do what highly specialized aerospace-grade 3D printers are doing now. But that is the typical path in technology development so it's probably coming sooner than we expect.

naperlou
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can i make one at home?
naperlou   8/19/2014 12:40:35 PM
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Ann, this is a great use of 3D printing.  These are complex parts and hard to machine.  In addition, if the tooling is lost (which happened for most NASA programs over time) then it is difficult to make new copies of the engines if a future need arises.  I am thinking about the time after the Challenger accident, when we could have used the Saturn V to get into space quickly.  The only problem is that the program had been shut down and it would have been almost impossible to restart given the state of things.  This is another advantage of 3D printing, in that you only need the CAD files. 

The next thing is to print one of these on my home 3D printer.  That would make a great model rocket.

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