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NASA 3D printing lowers costs, speeds development of rocket parts

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NASA and Aerojet Rocketdyne of West Palm Beach, Fla., recently finished testing a rocket engine injector made through additive manufacturing, or 3-D printing.

“NASA recognizes that on Earth and potentially in space, additive manufacturing can be game-changing for new mission opportunities, significantly reducing production time and cost by ‘printing’ tools, engine parts or even entire spacecraft,” said Michael Gazarik, NASA’s associate administrator for space technology in Washington. “3-D manufacturing offers opportunities to optimize the fit, form and delivery systems of materials that will enable our space missions while directly benefiting American businesses here on Earth.”

This type of injector manufactured with traditional processes would take more than a year to make but with these new processes it can be produced in less than four months, with a 70 percent reduction in cost

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