by • August 2, 2016 • No Comments
The aerospace industry is one of most that has welcomed 3D printing with open arms. From prototyping to parts replacement and creation, additive making is utilized in a variety of various ways. Tools are being printed on the ISS, and all but equite part of a rocket is being 3D printed, that include fuel thanks to Gilmour Space Technologies.
3D printed fuel
Singaporean start-up Gilmour Space Technologies commenceed a self-created rocket in Australia 2 weeks ago that was powered by 3D printed fuel. It is the initially time fuel has been 3D printed, and is reportedly created of the combination of two various materials (they are keeping the recipe top secret though). They not long ago tested their fuel in a rocket commence. The 3.6m long rocket was sent up towards orbit of the ground in Queensland, Australia, and went up close to 5km. It proved a good results, with their 3D printed fuel demonstrating it was functionally sound.
Along with their commence site in Australia, Gilmour Space Technologies is working with NASA to create additional commence sites in the United States.
The team responsible for this feat consists of seven researchers, engineers and ex-bankers in the campus of the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD), where Gilmour Space Technologies’ office resides. They have created a 3D printing device, already a prototype and patent-pending, specifically to print fuel.
“Dual material 3D printing devices are in use nowadays, but they are tiny with limited choices in terms of materials,” said Mrs Michelle Gilmour, who co-founded the start-up with her husband Adam, an Australian, four years ago.
“Our proprietary rocket fuel cannot be printed with existing 3D printing devices,” said the 42-year-old.
The start-up is a beneficiary of the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Cluster – created last September by Spring Singapore and the National Research Foundation to assist companies create capabilities in 3D printing – having attained a “six-figure” sum in funding through SUTD.
The aim of Gilmour Space Technologies is to provide rockets to carry tiny loads like satellites for sub-orbital experiments inside the upcoming 18 months. They are in addition already assembling a sizeabler commercial design of the 3D printing device. The company plans to set the price for equite commence at US$750,000 as opposed to the US$1 million or additional it costs at the moment.
Plans for sizeabler rockets are in addition in the works, but they require additional funding for this to take place. They estimate that they can cut sizeable scale rocket commence costs down to $5 million (of US $15 million already).
“We ponder the space industry is going through a renaissance. There are additional and additional uses being createed for space satellites in areas such as earth observation, global communication systems and asteroid mining,” said Mrs Gilmour.
“SUTD is key to this good results. They are involved in most aspects of our business,” said Mrs Gilmour, adding that the researchers and engineers in her company are SUTD graduates.
She recognised that Singapore is not a usual place for starting a space business, but noted: “The government is recognising space as a new and emerging business area, that is quite encouraging.”
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