Here at 3D Rapid Print, one of the fastest growing 3D Printing companies in the Thames Valley, we like to keep abreast of the latest innovations in 3D printing.

On September 25th 2020, space technology start-up Skyroot Aerospace (Skyroot) of Hyderabad, India unveiled a fully 3D printed, cryogenic fuel-powered rocket engine, named Dhawan-I after Indian aerospace engineer Dr. Satish Dhawan. (Cryogenics can be defined as “The production of low temperatures or the study of low-temperature phenomena.”) Revealed on the 100th anniversary of Dhawan’s birth, Skyroot proclaimed that the engine was named after him in honour of his role developing India’s aerospace sector, as well as his work while chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) between 1972 and 1984. (The ISRO is India’s national space agency.)

Skyroot intend to use the Dhawan-I engine to power the upper stage of their Vikram-II rocket. Named after ISRO founder Dr. Vikram Sarabhai, the Vikram series comprises 3 launch vehicles and was mainly developed for launching small satellites. Skyroot are currently building a dedicated test facility for further testing of the Dhawan-I engine and expect to launch their first rocket in December 2021. The world’s first cryogenic fuel-powered rocket engine was built during the 1950s by Aerojet Rocketdyne of Los Angeles, California in collaboration with NASA. (Aerojet Rocketdyne are a self-appointed “world-class developer and manufacturer of advanced propulsion and energetics systems.”) Named the RL10, NASA boasts that it remains America’s most used upper-stage rocket engine more than 50 years after its first flight in 1963.

Other examples of 3D printing’s use in rocketry include self-proclaimed “designs, manufactures and deploys rockets to clear the way for small satellite manufacturers looking to access Space” company Skyrora of Edinburgh. In May 2020, they completed the UK’s first vertical static fire test of a space rocket for circa 50 years, using a rocket with a 3D printed engine.

3D printing is an amazing tool. It can grow your small business or start a mini revolution in an industry. Explore what it can do for you when you contact us today.

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