Top News from Leading Digital Manufacturing Solution Providers
August 30, 2013
NASA Fires Up Tests for 3D-Printed Engine Component
After some anticipation, NASA has finally hot-fired their unique rocket engine that was made famous for its use of an additively manufactured injection component. If the part exceeds expectations, then we could possibly see NASA implement the technology for upcoming projects.
The injector is the part that allows the hydrogen fuel and liquid oxygen in the engine to pass through the combustion chamber where the thrust is produced. In this case, the injector, made from layers of nickel-chromium alloy powder through selective laser sintering, produced 20,000 pounds of thrust. This is ten times more than any other engine that has used a 3D-printed component.
“We took the design of an existing injector that we already tested and modified the design so the injector could be made with a 3D printer,” said Brad Bullard, the propulsion engineer responsible for the injector design. “We will be able to directly compare test data for both the traditionally assembled injector and the 3D printed injector to see if there’s any difference in performance.”
Back in July we covered the first testing of this engine injector and its success. It was found that through additive manufacturing, the injector, which normally takes over a year to build, could be constructed in less than four months. In addition, the new process reduced costs by 70 percent.
Michael Gazarik, NASA’s associate administrator for space technology in Washington said, "NASA recognizes that on Earth and potentially in space, additive manufacturing can be game-changing for new mission opportunities, significantly reducing production time and cost by 'printing' tools, engine parts or even entire spacecraft. 3D manufacturing offers opportunities to optimize the fit, form and delivery systems of materials that will enable our space missions while directly benefiting American businesses here on Earth."
Although the injector is still being analyzed, data from the test showed that it withstood 1,400 pounds of pressure per square inch and temperatures of 6,000 degrees Fahrenheit. This is great news for NASA, which means that there’s a good chance that we’ll see them utilize this technology more in the future.
For now, NASA has hopes of using additive manufacturing to print tools on the International Space Station. Also, if the lunar module breaks down while in space, millions of miles from any “repair shop,” printing parts to repair it could be a possibility. Another idea that’s not out of the question? 3D printed food for astronauts in space.
Combustion simulation might seem like the ultimate in esoteric technologies, but auto companies, aircraft firms and fuel designers need increasingly sophisticated software to serve the needs of 21st century engine designs. HPCwire recently got the opportunity to take a look at Reaction Design, one of the premier makers of combustion simulation software, and talk with its CEO, Bernie Rosenthal. Read more...
On Wednesday, D-Wave Systems made history by announcing the sale of the world's first commercial quantum computer. The buyer was Lockheed Martin Corporation, who will use the machine to help solve some of their "most challenging computation problems." D-Wave co-founder and CTO Geordie Rose talks about the new system and the underlying technology. Read more...
GPU maker NVIDIA has ratcheted up the core count and clock speed on its Tesla GPU processor. The new M2090 module for servers delivers 665 double precision gigaflops, representing close to a 30 percent increase over the previous generation Tesla part. The memory bandwidth on the device was bumped up as well, from 150 GB/second to 178 GB/second. The new GPU boosts performance significantly across a number of HPC codes. Read more...
07/30/2013 | IBM | This white paper examines various means of adapting technical computing tools to accelerate product and services innovation across a range of commercial industries such as manufacturing, financial services, energy, healthcare, entertainment and retail. No longer is technically advanced computing limited to the confines of big government labs and academic centers. Today it is available to a wide range of organizations seeking a competitive edge.
06/25/2013 | Intel | The UberCloud HPC Experiment has achieved the volunteer participation of 500 organizations and individuals from 48 countries with the aim of exploring the end-to-end process employed by digital manufacturing engineers to access and use remote computing resources in HPC centers and in the cloud. This Compendium of 25 case studies is an invaluable resource for engineers, managers and executives who believe in the strategic importance of applying advanced technologies to help drive their organization’s productivity to perceptible new levels.