This is the first such test of a printed liquid-fueled, metal rocket engine by any university in the world
Like something out of a Robert Heinlein novel, students at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) have built a metal rocket engine using a technique previously confined to NASA. Earlier this month, the UCSD chapter of the Students for the Exploration and Development of Space (SEDS) at the Jacobs School of Engineering conducted a hot fire test for a 3D-printed metal rocket engine at the Friends of Amateur Rocketry launch site in California’s Mojave Desert. This is the first such test of a printed liquid-fueled, metal rocket engine by any university in the world and the first designed and printed outside of NASA.
The Tri-D rocket engine, as it’s called, was designed and built with the cooperation of NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center as part of an effort to explore the feasibility of printed rocket components. For purposes of the exercise, it was designed to power the third stage of a Nanosat launcher, that is, one capable of launching satellites that weigh less than 1.33 kg (2.93 lb).
Tri-D is only about 7 in (17.7 cm) long and weighs about 10 lb (4.5 kg). Made of a chromium-cobalt alloy, it burns kerosene and liquid oxygen and produces about 200 lb (90.7 kg) of thrust. The students’ main contribution was design of the injector plate, which is a key component used to inject fuel into the combustion chamber. In this case, the injector has a Fuel-Oxidizer-Oxidizer-Fuel inlet arrangement with two outer fuel orifices converging with two inner oxidizer orifices.
The rocket has a regenerative cooling jacket that extends to the nozzle to keep the engine cool while firing. It was designed to burn the fuel in the middle of the combustion chamber to keep as much heat as possible away from the chamber walls, while insulating them with a boundary layer of relatively cool gases.
The Tri-D engine cost only US$6,800 with NASA putting up US$5,000 and the students collected the balance with fundraisers, such as barbecue sales.
The Latest on: 3D-printed metal rocket engine
- NASA successfully tests 3D printed copper rocket thruster with composite overwrap on April 9, 2019 at 10:55 pm
Most recently, they tested a 2,400 lbf 3D printed copper rocket thrust chamber ... manufacture thrust chamber assemblies for liquid rocket engines. Among the benefits of using 3D printing to ... […]
- Orbex Rocket Includes Largest 3D Printed Part to Be Made in One Piece on February 21, 2019 at 7:23 am
Orbex, a U.K.-based spaceflight company, has introduced what is being called the world’s largest metal rocket engine to be 3D printed in a single piece using the SLM Solutions SLM800. Orbex develops ... […]
- World’s Largest Single-Piece, 3D-Printed Rocket Engine Unveiled on February 13, 2019 at 9:17 pm
UK-based Orbex recently unveiled what it is describing as the world’s largest single-piece, 3D-printed metal rocket engine. The company, which was founded in 2015 and recently received $40 million in ... […]
- Partnership with Rocket Engine Startup Brings 3D Metal Printer to UC San Diego on January 28, 2019 at 6:18 am
thanks to a partnership with a local startup that specializes in 3D-printed rocket engines. Now, aspiring inventors and innovators at the university can make their creations real with the startup’s ... […]
- UCSD students test fire 3D-printed metal rocket engine on October 11, 2018 at 5:00 pm
Like something out of a Robert Heinlein novel, students at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) have built a metal rocket engine using a technique previously confined to NASA. Earlier this ... […]
via Google News and Bing News