On this occasion we move to Australia to learn about the work recently presented by a group of researchers from the Monash University, located in the city of Melbourne, which, in just four months, have been able to develop and manufacture a rocket propulsion system manufactured entirely using 3D printing techniques.
As you can see in the image located right at the top of this post or in operation in the video that I have left you at the beginning of the extended post, we are talking about a rocket engine based on the use of spray nozzle which has a different function from the impulsion achieved with the nozzles present in conventional units.
Project X, a new generation of rocket engines where aerosol nozzles and 3D printing are used for their manufacture
This project, baptized by the engineers with the name of Project X, has been designed to demonstrate that an aerosol nozzle can improve the efficiency of a rocket motor drive since less gases are used while the motor is still at low altitude. One point to keep in mind, as the creators of this rocket engine emphasize, is that in addition to using it to demonstrate the advantages of aerosol nozzles, 3D printing has been used to produce this unit.
As he commented Marten jurg, one of the engineers who have worked on Project X:
Traditional bell-shaped units, such as in space shuttles, peak when on the ground. However, when they reach a high altitude, the flame expands, which reduces its actuation.
The design that we have achieved maintains its performance, which is very difficult to achieve with conventional production processes. By using the latest additive manufacturing techniques, we can create complex designs, print, test, refine and print again, in a matter of days instead of months.