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Japan's Mitsubishi Heavy Industries plans to use 3D printing technology to manufacture rocket parts

by:Gewinn     2022-05-13
Japan's Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) recently said it plans to use 3D printers in rocket development. Mitsubishi Heavy Industries announced the plan at a press conference on July 17, 2014, that it is considering using metal 3D printers to make rocket parts. Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) plans to launch a new large test rocket in fiscal 2020, and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, as a JAXA partner, has been authorized to develop the rocket and provide transportation services. To reduce rocket launch costs, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries is exploring the possibility of using metal 3D printing during rocket development. Meanwhile, MHI is part of a new research and development initiative backed by the Japanese government. The initiative aims to advance research and development of 3D metal printers. Their goal is to have a prototype machine capable of printing advanced metal parts by 2015. In 2013, NASA completed a hot-fire test of a rocket engine nozzle produced using additive manufacturing. NASA said the technology could lead to higher manufacturing efficiencies for rocket engines. 3D printing has been used to make certain rocket parts in the past, but now the technology can be used to make more critical components. 3D printing has the potential to reduce the time and cost of manufacturing complex parts. However, the chief engineer of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries' defense and aerospace business unit said that rockets have special material requirements because they operate under extreme conditions, but existing 3D metal printers have difficulties using these materials, and for now, they must focus on basic research on this technology.
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