NASA's 3-D printing breakthrough - it's all rocket science (images)

NASA's 3-D printing breakthrough - it's all rocket science (images)

Summary: A successful test may help NASA significantly lower the cost and reliability of expensive rocket engine parts by building them with a 3-D printer.

TOPICS: Nasa / Space

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  • A computer file instructs the printer how use its laser to melt fine powder into its final shape. Of course, NASA wasn't satisfied with calling it 3-D printing so it's now additive manufacturing.

    Credit: NASA

  • This paint brush shows the fine granules used in the process.

    Credit: NASA

  • NASA is developing a 3-D printing process to provide food for space travellers. It's similar to the replicators in Star Trek.

Topic: Nasa / Space

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  • 3d printer almost like Star Trek Replicator

    When you think about it, this is getting close to being Star Trek-ish. I remember several episodes where LaForge needed to replicate spare parts for engineering.

    While current 3-d printing is working at a macro-molecular level (large chunks of molecules ex. ABS plastic in hobbyist printers), in theory being able to position single molecules or atoms would effectively create a "replicator".

    I would guess it isn't too far of a leap to imagine being able to take a single cell, scan the DNA, and print off perfect copies using a 3D biological printer complete with cell membrane, mitochondria, etc.
  • If you thought printing a gun was bad...

    try printing an ICBM!
    Tony Burzio
    • If you threw a rock...

      across the narrowest part of the Bosporus, within the city limits of Istanbul, that rock would be an ICBM ... intercontinental ballistic missile.
  • Replicators aside...

    This illustrates the great current potential 3D printers have to revolutionise the practicality of space research and exploration. Its not just a matter of reducing cost: Imagine how much payloads can be reduced, or how much more efficiently the limited storage space on rockets can be used if most of the needs of any crew / colonists can be supplied via 3D printers and basic raw materials. Some of the raw materials could be found at the destination, the rest could be efficiently stored in a form that makes the best use of space and weight distribution. Set up a lab on a moon, and you could send up raw materials via unmanned rockets, and technicians on earth can broadcast the necessary blueprints to the lab.

    To think just a couple months ago I expressed disagreement with somone (probably on these pages) who was of the view that 3D printers were trivial toys (when I made the suggestion that much of our economy may be based upon ordering goods via broadband for "printing" either at home or at specialised warehouses). Perhaps it isn't nice of me to gloat, but I thought that was an idiotic opinion even "way back" then.
  • Impressive.

    "This hot-fire test is designed to test how components withstand temperatures up to 6,000 degrees Fahrenheit and extreme pressures."

    Wow. Impressive. Dare I ask how they melted the material to print it???
    • Lasers

      lasers. either a single point or coinciding points that add up to over the melting point where they cross.

      I can't wait till 3DNapster (or whatever it will be called)
  • Not QUITE the Star Trek Replicators

    According to the reference materials published by Paramount (Star Trek Encyclopedia, for one), and one novelized Star Trek story (title long forgotten), the Replicators did not use existing matter; they synthesized the matter from the power of the warp drive engines. So by turning matter and antimatter into energy, the warp drive had enough power TO SPARE to be able to make food and supplies. Obviously, this is WAY beyond real life technology.
  • "significantly lower the cost and reliability"

    Lowering reliability is not a good idea. Nor is not checking that what is write is what you mean.
  • Science Shows That Universe Cannot Be Eternal

    SCIENCE SHOWS THAT THE UNIVERSE CANNOT BE ETERNAL because it could not have sustained itself eternally due to the law of entropy (increasing energy decay, even in an open system). Einstein showed that space, matter, and time all are physical and all had a beginning. Space even produces particles because it’s actually something, not nothing. Even time had a beginning! Time is not eternal. Popular atheistic scientist Stephen Hawking admits that the universe came from nothing but he believes that nothing became something by a natural process yet to be discovered. That's not rational thinking at all, and it also would be making the effect greater than its cause to say that nothing created something. The beginning had to be of supernatural origin because natural laws and processes do not have the ability to bring something into existence from nothing. What about the Higgs boson (the so-called “God Particle”)? The Higgs boson does not create mass from nothing, but rather it converts energy into mass. Einstein showed that all matter is some form of energy.

    The supernatural cannot be proved by science but science points to a supernatural intelligence and power for the origin and order of the universe. Where did God come from? Obviously, unlike the universe, God’s nature doesn’t require a beginning.

    EXPLAINING HOW AN AIRPLANE WORKS doesn't mean no one made the airplane. Explaining how life or the universe works doesn't mean there was no Maker behind them. Natural laws may explain how the order in the universe works and operates, but mere undirected natural laws cannot explain the origin of that order. Once you have a complete and living cell then the genetic code and biological machinery exist to direct the formation of more cells, but how could life or the cell have naturally originated when no directing code and mechanisms existed in nature? Read my Internet article: HOW FORENSIC SCIENCE REFUTES ATHEISM.

    WHAT IS SCIENCE? Science simply is knowledge based on observation. No one observed the universe coming by chance or by design, by creation or by evolution. These are positions of faith. The issue is which faith the scientific evidence best supports.

    Visit my newest Internet site: THE SCIENCE SUPPORTING CREATION

    Babu G. Ranganathan*
    (B.A. Bible/Biology)


    *I have given successful lectures (with question and answer period afterwards) defending creation before evolutionist science faculty and students at various colleges and universities. I've been privileged to be recognized in the 24th edition of Marquis "Who's Who in The East" for my writings on religion and science.
    Babu Ranganathan
  • Never gonna give you up

    Never gonna let you down
    Never gonna run around and desert you
    Never gonna make you cry
    Never gonna say goodbye
    Never gonna tell a lie and hurt you
    Doug Bott
  • 3D Technologies

    Really its Rocket science..3d gona change the world..Check out this website with special rewards for the first responder's..Only limited available so hurry up..!!!printers..
    Jeffrey Jones