Girls in STEM

Update: Spotlight School Success

Update: Spotlight School Success

SUCCESS! Since electing Liberty Elementary School as our Spotlight School, we have come to adore the Liberty family more and more each day.  T

News and Insight

Search articles, videos and updates on 3D Printing and its growing presence in our world

Girls in STEM

WATCH: Ms. Houck's TEACHER FEATURE

WATCH: Ms. Houck's TEACHER FEATURE

This week, we bring you a short video on a STEM'tastic educator! Scroll down to WATCH this educator doing what she does best - teachi

Videos

Cool Vid: 3D Printing for K-12 Education

Cool Vid: 3D Printing for K-12 Education

Watching super cool EDUCATIONAL videos from across the web is one of our favorite pastimes! Join us in learning more about 3D printing in the clas

Science and Math

'Tis the Season for STEM

'Tis the Season for STEM

'Tis the season for GINGERBREAD and working the delicious treat into your family - and CLASSROOM - fun. Last week, as students across the

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Elon Musk using 3D Printing for SuperDraco Rocket

By Staff Writter

Elon Musk using 3D Printing for SuperDraco Rocket

Engineering

Elon Musk recently tweeted a photo of his SuperDraco rocket chamber emerging from an EOS 3D metal printer. Elon Musk, CEO and chief designer at SpaceX, is collaborating with NASA as part of a private enterprise bid to fill in the space launch capability gap left by the retirement of the space shuttle. SpaceX has successfully launched two official resupply missions to the international space station. A third is scheduled to be launched this spring.

The 3D printed rocket chamber, is a component of the SuperDraco rocket engine, which will power the launch abort system of future crewed Dragon missions. The launch abort system allows the crew to make a quick escape should a serious problem occur during launch. In such an emergency, eight SuperDraco engines built into the sides of the Dragon spacecraft, will carry astronauts safely to earth with pinpoint accuracy.

The launch escape system can provide a maximum of 120,000 pounds of thrust. The engines can be restarted multiple times and throttled. They can be reused repeatedly on multiple missions rather than being discarded after one use.

The obvious advantage of such a system is its ability to land Dragon back to earth propulsively. Parachutes will be used as a backup measure should problems occur with the SuperDraco engines. This propulsive landing capability has other potential uses such as landing a craft on the moon or Mars. Elon Musk has openly expressed his ambitions of a moon or Mars landing.

SpaceX has made multiple ground tests of the SuperDraco rocket engine and reports that the test results have exceeded design requirements. NASA’s commercial crew program awarded SpaceX $75 million to develop the escape system.

Aerospace 3d printing is an integral part of SpaceX's design and manufacturing process. They have recently integrated hand gesture based 3D modeling with 3D printing to facilitate the rapid design, prototyping, and manufacture of aerospace components.