Marshall engineers hot-fire tested 3D-printed injectors at 6,000° F (Image: NASA/MSFC)
Before testing the 3D-printed rocket injector, materials engineers at the Marshall Center scanned the parts to ensure the part was fabricated according to the design (Image: NASA/MSFC)
The left shows a 3D-printed rocket injector as it looked immediately after it was removed from the selected laser melting printer, and the right shows an injector after inspection and polishing (Image: NASA/MSFC)
Propulsion engineer Sandra Greene, left, and test engineer Cynthia Sprader recently completed a series of test firings with 3D printed parts (Image: NASA/MSFC)
3D printing technology has already made the move from engineering workshop to the home, and now it's set to make its mark in space. NASA has hot-fire tested 3D-printed rocket engine components, which have managed to withstand incredibly high temperatures and pressures to the same standard as traditionally manufactured parts. Being cheaper and faster to produce, 3D-printed parts have the potential to revolutionize the manufacturing of rocket engine components and save the space agency considerable time and money.
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