A sample of PICA-X heat shield material subjected to temperatures of up to 1,850C (3,360F), at the Arc Jet Complex at NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif. The NASA-originated PICA material holds the record for high-speed reentry into the Earth's atmosphere. The SpaceX-developed and manufactured PICA-X variants meet or exceed the performance of the original material, to protect the Dragon spacecraft on its return to Earth. (Source: SpaceX)
An in-depth survey of 700 current and future users of 3D printing holds few surprises, but results emphasize some major trends already in progress. Two standouts are the big growth in end-use parts and metal additive manufacturing (AM) most respondents expect.
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