Auburn University Receives NASA Contract to Develop 3D Printing Techniques to Improve Liquid Rocket Engines
Now, the university’s Samuel Ginn College of Engineering has announced that NASA awarded a three-year, $5.2 million contract to NCAME to research and create 3D printing techniques to help improve the performance of liquid rocket engines. The work covered under the contract is part of NASA’s Rapid Analysis and Manufacturing Propulsion Technology (RAMPT) project, and is just the latest development to come out of Auburn’s relationship with NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center.
“This partnership with Auburn University and industry will help develop improvements for liquid rocket engines, as well as contribute to commercial opportunities. The technologies developed by this team will be made available widely to the private sector, offering more companies the opportunity to use these advanced manufacturing techniques,” said Paul McConnaughey, the Deputy Director of Marshall Space Flight Center.
RAMPT is centered around evolving lightweight, large-scale novel and 3D printing techniques for developing and fabricating regeneratively cooled thrust chamber assemblies for use in liquid rocket engines. NCAME already collaborates with more than 70 academic, government, industry, and non-profit organizations, and will now help support the RAMPT project as it works to create a domestic supply chain and specialized manufacturing technology vendors, which will be used by all government agencies, commercial space companies, and academic institutions.
“For decades, Auburn engineers have been instrumental in helping the U.S. achieve its space exploration goals. This new collaboration between NASA and our additive manufacturing researchers will play a major role in developing advanced rocket engines that will drive long-duration spaceflight, helping our nation achieve its bold vision for the future of space exploration,” said Christopher B. Roberts, the dean of the university’s College of Engineering.
Michael Ares, who works in Media Relations for Auburn University, told 3DPrint.com in an email that the Samuel Ginn College of Engineering is a leader in developing and implementing the kind of AM aerospace technology that Auburn and NASA have also been working on “behind the scenes,” which would allow astronauts on long-duration spaceflights to manufacture spare parts when needed.
“Think about how that would have been helpful on Apollo 13…” Ares told us.
GE Avionics is another Auburn partner that’s taken research jointly conducted with the university all the way to production. Additionally, Alabama’s Governor Kay Ivey announced last week that GE Aviation will invest $50 million to expand the additive manufacturing operation at its Auburn facility. All of this goes to show that when it comes to aerospace 3D printing, it seems like Alabama is the place to be right now.
“This contract is a giant leap towards making Alabama the ‘go to state’ for additive manufacturing. We look forward to growing our partnership with NASA, industry and academia as we support the development of our nation’s next rocket engines,” said Mike Ogles, Director of NASA programs in the Samuel Ginn College of Engineering and the RAMPT Project Manager.
The announcement about the university’s new NASA contract was made at the biannual four-day meeting of ASTM International’s F42 Committee on Additive Manufacturing Technologies, which is hosted by the university at the Auburn Marriott Opelika Resort & Spa at Grand National in Opelika. Nima Shamsaei, the Director of NCAME, will lead Auburn’s team for the RAMPT project as the principal investigator.
Discuss this and other 3D printing topics at 3DPrintBoard.com or share your thoughts below.
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Stay up-to-date on all the latest news from the 3D printing industry and recieve information and offers from thrid party vendors.
You May Also Like
3D Systems Buys High-Speed 3D Printing Firm dp polar
The 3D printing mergers and acquisitions continue apace. On the heels of Markforged’s buyout of Digital Metal and Nano Dimension’s 12 percent purchase of Stratasys, 3D Systems (NYSE: DDD) has...
New Player in Space: X-Bow’s Test Rocket Reaches Orbit with 3D Printed Motors
Just four months after coming out of stealth mode, space technology company X-Bow Launch Systems successfully launched its first rocket in a test carried out in partnership with the Department...
Sakuu Opens Battery 3D Printing Facility in Silicon Valley
Silicon Valley startup Sakuu is using some of the funds from its total $62 million raised to open a new facility for its battery 3D printing platform. The multi-million-dollar site...
US DoE Awards $3M to Fortify and polySpectra for 3D Printed Tooling
The US Department of Energy (DOE) announced 30 projects that have been selected to receive a total of $57.9 million in grants from the Advanced Manufacturing Office (AMO). Among the...