Image by NASA
The inability to print solid 3D objects from several different alloys, a challenging obstacle to using such parts in spacecraft, has been overcome by NASA. Meanwhile, SpaceX announced it actually used a 3D-printed part in a rocket launched in January.
When creating a product on a standard 3D printer, only one material is usually used in the process. Overcoming the problem that prevented the use of 3D printing in space technology construction, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab, together with Caltech and Penn State University, have built the first real-life composite part – a mirror mount made of several different alloys.
“You can have a continuous transition from alloy to alloy to alloy, and you can study a wide range of potential alloys… We think it’s going to change materials research in the future,” R. Peter Dillon, a technologist at JPL, saidin a NASA press release.