JUN 09, 2016 11:26 AM PDT

University Students Launch a Rocket With a Fully 3D-Printed Engine

Students from the University of California San Diego have successfully achieved launching a liquid-fueled rocket dubbed Vulcan-1 with an engine that was 3D-printed entirely out of Inconel 718.

A rocket with an engine mode completely out of 3D-printed parts made it an estimated 4,000 feet in the air.

 Image Credit: SEDS UCSD/YouTube

Every component of the engine, which has been named Ignus, was made in the 3D printer, which means the university students have actually accomplished something NASA wanted to do before NASA could even get to it.
The Vulcan-1 rocket was launched from the Mojave Desert in Southeastern California in an attempt to see how the 3D-printed Ignus engine would fare.
As it turns out, the results were surprising. The launch, which occurred on May 21st, can be viewed in the YouTube video below:

"The Ignus Engine was designed to produce 750 pounds of thrust and is less than 1 foot tall. It weighs around 15 pounds,” said Deepak Atyam, the founder of the Students for the Exploration of Space (SEDS). 
"We initially focused on utilizing existing designs and attempting to improve the status quo. The injector was modeled after the iconic F-1 engine.”
The engine operates using liquid oxygen and kerosene RP-1, both of which are commonly used in liquid fuel rocket applications.
There were no accurate measurements of the true altitude of the Vulcan-1 rocket following lift-off, but the students estimated that it went approximately 4,000 feet in the air.
For the students, who spent restless days working on the project, this is a great achievement. The project, which was dubbed Tri-D, has reportedly been in the works since 2013.
This rocket is by no means comparable to the rockets NASA uses, which take equipment into space so the International Space Station’s inhabitants survive and so that our GPS systems don’t fail, but it does show that launching rockets with nothing but 3D-printed parts is possible.
3D printing may not only change the way we think about inhabiting other planets, but it may also change the way we look at rocket technology.
Source: Space.com, YouTube

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
You May Also Like
OCT 14, 2018
OCT 14, 2018
First Bio-electronic Medical Device
According to a study published in Nature Medicine, researchers at Northwestern University and Washington University School of Medicine have create the firs...
NOV 11, 2018
NOV 11, 2018
Creating Nanoscale-sized Electromechanical Devices.
According to a study published in Nature Communications, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign discovered new methodology in creati...
DEC 03, 2018
Space & Astronomy
DEC 03, 2018
SpaceX Sends 64 Satellites Into Space All At Once in Precedent-Setting Launch on Monday
SpaceX CEO Elon Musk had a lot to be excited about on Monday after his reusable rocket-oriented aerospace company set at least four different records with...
DEC 03, 2018
DEC 03, 2018
Stentrode: No Surgery Focused Brain stimulation
Brain stentrode, a brain interfacing electrode that is implanted within a blood vessel...
DEC 06, 2018
Chemistry & Physics
DEC 06, 2018
Rare Uranium Compounds Capable of High-temperature Superconductivity at Near Normal Pressure
Uranium is often associated with nuclear fuel materials, but very soon they could be used to power a new wave of industrial revolution. Scientists from Rus...
DEC 12, 2018
DEC 12, 2018
The Structure of Immunity
A group of researchers describes the biophysical and structural characteristics of an immune regulating protein called human T cell immunoglobulin and mucin domain-containing protein-3 (hTIM-...
Loading Comments...