Undoubtedly, the evolution in terms of capacity and use of 3D printing continues to evolve by leaps and bounds. This time it has been NASA which today surprises us with the announcement that they have finally managed to successfully test a prototype of rocket ignition manufactured by 3D printing where use is made of two different metal alloys, something that had not happened to date and that brings us one step closer to the complete manufacture of a rocket engine by 3D printing.
At this point, as announced by the engineers of the Huntsville Marshall Space Flight Center In your ad, it seems that you had to use a filler metal between the different metals to get them soldered. Due precisely to the novelty of this technique used, we are talking about a methodology that at the moment is too complex and expensive to be used commercially or in the manufacture of larger parts.
NASA manages to manufacture a metal part by 3D printing with two different materials
As for the precise itself, apparently what has been used in NASA have not hesitated to baptize as Automated powder blown laser depositionIn other words, a new system that makes use of a stream of metallic powder that is injected into the laser focus. Thanks to this, the powder molds the particles and combines them with the alloy that is finally produced. Tell you that the materials used by NASA were copper mixed with inconel which gave rise to a super strong material.
As he commented Majid babai, leader of the project:
Eliminating the welding process and having bimetallic parts built on a single machine not only lowers cost and manufacturing time, it also lowers risk by increasing reliability. " two materials together through this process, an internal bond is generated with the two materials and any hard transition that could cause the component to crack under the enormous forces and temperature gradient of space travel is eliminated.