Printing a rocket engine and fuel tank for NASA.
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  1. #1
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    Default Printing a rocket engine and fuel tank for NASA.

    This absolutely blew me away. MIT and Boston start-up printing Rocket engines for NASA. And they are going to produce a printer for manufacturing...BMW and Caterpillar.

    I'm almost speechless.

    How 3D printing is spurring revolutionary advances in manufacturing and design | PBS NewsHour

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    yeah and space X's 3d printed super draco's on there capsule made it into and back from space multiple times and with minimal government tax payer funded dollars! and they were doing it what 3-4 years ago now????

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    Quote Originally Posted by adama View Post
    yeah and space X's 3d printed super draco's on there capsule made it into and back from space multiple times and with minimal government tax payer funded dollars! and they were doing it what 3-4 years ago now????
    Plenty of government money there.
    Like all of the original RD.

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    That was worth the time to watch the video.
    Interesting to note that hobby grade printers peaked in 2014.

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    Machining thick parts like casings and items for engines is easier and the static strength properties do not change that much. If you heat treat you can get rid of voids/bald spots/defects and this will increase fatigue life. These items have a large factor of safety which helps give confidence to the launched items. It is when you have to start lightweighting, or printing thin parts that do not deflect, or cannot have surface roughness that the true skills (both from the print op and the sim guy) become important.

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    Years ago at Rocketdyne, I watched welders assembling rocket engine thrust chambers using brazed together stainless steel tubing. The manufacture of even one chamber could take many hours and even then, there could be leaks and other flaws requiring detailed rework. Later on, the chambers were fused together in large ovens with brazing paste which saved a great deal of time.
    The time savings using 3D printing are really incredible and they are getting a good product as well.

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    Yeah, I was surprised to learn last year that the thrust chambers were made from tubes. I had only seen pictures and assumed they were made from corrugated sheet to handle thermal expansion. Finally visited the Evergreen Flight Museum in McMinnville, OR, and got to see a bunch of rocketry stuff from an arm's distance away.

    Also the Spruce Goose (from a distance, the hull looks like the wall of the building), an SR-71 (I knew the stats, but seeing one in person really drives home the sheer size of the thing) and a whole bunch of other stuff. Recommended tourist destination if you're into air-and-space. Both a MiG-25 and an F-15 parked next to each other. Lots of historic civil aviation stuff, not exclusively MilAir by any means.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sfriedberg View Post
    Yeah, I was surprised to learn last year that the thrust chambers were made from tubes. I had only seen pictures and assumed they were made from corrugated sheet to handle thermal expansion. Finally visited the Evergreen Flight Museum in McMinnville, OR, and got to see a bunch of rocketry stuff from an arm's distance away.

    Also the Spruce Goose (from a distance, the hull looks like the wall of the building), an SR-71 (I knew the stats, but seeing one in person really drives home the sheer size of the thing) and a whole bunch of other stuff. Recommended tourist destination if you're into air-and-space. Both a MiG-25 and an F-15 parked next to each other. Lots of historic civil aviation stuff, not exclusively MilAir by any means.
    Yes, tubes they were. They were formed in a flat oval that was about 3/8" wide for each one. The fuel pump would pump fuel into a manifold to alternating tubes and then down to a collector ring at the bottom edge of the chamber. Then the fuel would return and enter the injector to mix with the LOX (Liquid Oxygen) and burn in the chamber.

    The fuel would cool the chamber in that way.

    When the Spruce Goose was at Long Beach I got he tour all the way up to the pilot's seat. It was an amazing machine! Also, the pilots were sitting on top of some 900 gallons of 120 octane aircraft fuel. LOL.


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