NASA Prints Rocket Parts.

You know I am a fan of 3D printing, but this is a first.

Using a 3D printer, NASA has printed part of a rocket engine that generated a record 20,000 pounds of thrust.  This could significantly reduce the costs for space missions.  The ability to print parts on demand would reduce the cost of manufacturing for some of the components used.

The component tested during the engine firing, an injector, delivers propellants to power an engine and provides the thrust necessary to send rockets to space. During the injector test, liquid oxygen and gaseous hydrogen passed through the component into a combustion chamber and produced 10 times more thrust than any injector previously fabricated using 3-D printing.

“This successful test of a 3-D printed rocket injector brings NASA significantly closer to proving this innovative technology can be used to reduce the cost of flight hardware,” said Chris Singer, director of the Engineering Directorate at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville Ala.

The component was manufactured using selective laser melting. This method buids up layers of nickel-chromium alloy powder to make the complex  injector with 28 elements for channeling and mixing propellants.

I reported earlier that NASA was looking to 3D printing to provide food for long space travels.

It looks like 3D printing will be our poor man’s version of transporter technology until someone gets around to making one of those.

– Ex astris, scientia –

I am and avid amateur astronomer and intellectual property attorney in Pasadena, California and I am a Rising Star as rated by Super Lawyers Magazine.  As a former Chief Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy, I am a proud member of the Armed Service Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association working to aid all active duty and veterans in our communities. Connect with me on Google +

Norman

Here’s printing at you kid.

If you have been reading this blog for awhile, you know that I am slightly obsessed with 3D printing.  Ok, a little bit more than slightly.  Maybe, I can convince you to join in my enthusiasm for all things 3D.

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A French man, Leo Marius created a fully functional SLR film camera for his graduation project and printed a working copy using his school’s 3D printer.

According to Leo, the OpenReflex is an Open-Source analog camera with a mirror, viewfinder and a finger activated mechanic shutter (running ~ 1/60 sec).

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It’s also compatible with ANY photographic lens with custom mount ring (that you print yourself, of course).  This would make a perfect gift for the photographer with a lot of older lenses, of any type.

Printing the parts is possible using a RepRap, MakerBot or any of the other available 3D-printers (now available on Amazon) using only ABS plastic without any support material.

A copy of the plans for printing is available on the Thingiverse website.

Printing all the parts and assembling them should take no more than 15 hours of printing and one hour of assembly time.

It is people like Leo that make me yearn to join an artist colony.  Only problem is I am a Lawyer, so I don’t think I’m allowed in. 😦

– Ex astris, scientia –

I am and avid amateur astronomer and intellectual property attorney in Pasadena, California and I am a Rising Star as rated by Super Lawyers Magazine.  As a former Chief Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy, I am a proud member of the Armed Service Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association working to aid all active duty and veterans in our communities. Connect with me on Google +

Norman

Space Pizza.

No delivery needed, and its not DiGiorno.  NASA has unveiled plans to print pizza in space.  That right, printed pizza.

The RepRap self-replicating printer 'Mendel". (Credit: CharlesC under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license).

I have probably mentioned once or twice on this blog how I love 3D printing.  3D printing has been in the news a lot lately when someone figured out that you could print a functioning plastic gun that would pass through security. Not the best use of the technology, but predictable.

A much better use has been chocolate (and other extrudable materials) for making fantastic food.

Picking up on this theme, NASA has awarded a $125,000 grant to the Systems & Materials Research Cooperation to design a 3D printer capable of printing a pizza from 30-year shelf stable foodstuffs.  SMRC built a basic food printer from a 3D chocolate printer to win the grant.  The design is based on an open-source RepRap 3D printer (shown above).  The 3D printer would “build-up” a pizza serving by first layering out the dough onto a heated plate then adding tomato sauce and toppings.  Mmmmmm….Pizza.

So instead of plastic containers of food, members of the International Space Station will be dinning on pizza in 2014.  There are a few problems to solve, such as zero g printing, but the upside is huge.

The ISS and other long term missions would only need to carry quantities of food material and have dinner printed.  Sort of like a poor mans replicator.

beermug

Now if they could only print beer, everything would be perfect!

– Ex astris, scientia –

I am and avid amateur astronomer and intellectual property attorney in Pasadena, California. As a former Chief Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy, I am a proud member of the Armed Service Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association working to aid all active duty and veterans in our communities. Connect with me on Google +

Norman

3D printing, a local source found.

I have been enamoured with 3D printers for some time now.

Basically, you can draw a three dimensional design in a computer aided design (CAD) program and then watch it come to life from the computer to the printer.

My friends over at MAKE:magazine have been promoting their Makerbot for some time.

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You might think that the only thing that these devices can do is print simple things like a vase or other sundry items, but there are some 3D printers that can be used to make 3D chocolate, sugar and other food.

Just think of the cake and confectionery delights you could create and wow them at your next party!

If you don’t want to spend the time to create your own, you can drop on by Shapeways to purchase already made creations.

I am so excited!  But, I was looking for something local.

Luckily, the other day I had to stop by The Hobby People store in my area to pick up some parts for a solar Stirling engine that I am building and what did I see across the parking lot, but Deezmaker‘s store!  Inside there are several affordable 3D printer models to choose from.  Also, the store hosts hackerspace events to learn how to print, basic Arduino programing and more.

So, if you are in Pasadena or southern California and you are looking to locally source your 3D printing needs.  I highly recommend that you stop by and check them out.

– Ex astris, scientia –

I am and avid amateur astronomer and intellectual property attorney.  As a former Chief Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy, I am a proud member of the Armed Service Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association working to aid all active duty and veterans in our communities.  Connect with me on Google +.  If you need help with any patent, trademark, or copyright issue, or know someone that can use my help, please contact me for a free 30 minute consultation by sending me an email or call TOLL FREE at 1-855-UR IDEAS (1-855-874-3327) and ask for Norman.

Norman