DM3D and Auburn University partnership boldly goes where few AM projects have gone before

August 25, 2021

The two-ton RS-25 nozzle additively manufactured by DM3D Technology for the Rapid Analysis and Manufacturing Propulsion Technology project (Courtesy Auburn University)

DM3D Technology, Auburn Hills, Michigan, USA, has partnered with Alabama’s Auburn University’s National Center for Additive Manufacturing Excellence (NCAME) on its AM research and development project to improve the performance of liquid rocket engines. Most recently, the company was tasked with additively manufacturing a rocket nozzle liner demonstrator for a large-scale liquid rocket engine and, at approximately 3 m in height, it also had to develop a machine large enough to build it.

DM3D and Auburn’s joint project – Rapid Analysis and Manufacturing Propulsion Technology (RAMPT) – aims to evolve light-weight, large-scale novel AM techniques such as Directed Energy Deposition (DED), the primary technology used by DM3D. RAMPT is funded through the NASA Game Changing Development Program with the agency’s Space Technology Mission Directorate.

“Knowing that the technology we’re developing for the RAMPT project could support future exploration missions is extremely gratifying,” stated Bhaskar Dutta, president of DM3D. “Auburn and NASA are very much at the forefront of AM research, and we began working with them around four years ago to print a nozzle that was approximately two feet [60 cm] in size, which seemed large at the time. Now we’re printing one for the RAMPT program that’s five times that height. This is one of the largest rocket engine components ever 3D printed.”

The exact dimensions of the two-ton additively manufactured full-scale RS-25 nozzle liner are 282 cm in height and 244 cm in diameter. The massive part was built over the course of several months – a greater than 50% reduction in processing time compared to traditional manufacturing techniques.

“DM3D’s cutting-edge technology and NCAME’s expertise in materials characterisation and qualification will continue the advancement and infusion of these technologies into future missions, and allow for industry to continue to build upon this development for other new large-scale applications,” commented Nima Shamsaei, NCAME director and Auburn’s technical lead for the RAMPT project.

RAMPT co-principal investigator Paul Gradl, a senior propulsion engineer at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, added, “NASA has established these public-private partnerships to advance new approaches, process build volumes, materials, and component demonstrations using additive manufacturing. The goal is to increase the technology readiness level to allow infusion into future NASA missions and commercial space applications.”

www.dm3dtech.com

www.auburn.edu

www.nasa.gov

In the latest issue of Metal AM magazine

Download PDF
 

Extensive AM industry news coverage, as well as the following exclusive deep-dive articles:

  • Metal powders in Additive Manufacturing: An exploration of sustainable production, usage and recycling
  • Inside Wayland Additive: How innovation in electron beam PBF is opening new markets for AM
  • An end-to-end production case study: Leveraging data-driven machine learning and autonomous process control in AM
  • Consolidation, competition, and the cost of certification: Insight from New York’s AM Strategies 2024
  • Scandium’s impact on the Additive Manufacturing of aluminium alloys
  • AM for medical implants: An analysis of the impact of powder reuse in Powder Bed Fusion

The world of metal AM to your inbox

Don't miss any new issue of Metal AM magazine, and get the latest industry news. Sign up to our twice weekly newsletter.

Sign up

Discover our magazine archive…

The free to access Metal Additive Manufacturing magazine archive offers unparalleled insight into the world of metal Additive Manufacturing from a commercial and technological perspective through:

  • Reports on visits to leading metal AM part manufacturers and industry suppliers
  • Articles on technology and application trends
  • Information on materials developments
  • Reviews of key technical presentations from the international conference circuit
  • International industry news

All past issues are available to download as free PDFs or view in your browser.

Browse the archive

Looking for AM machines, metal powders or part manufacturing services?

Discover suppliers of these and more in our comprehensive advertisers’ index and buyer’s guide, available in the back of Metal AM magazine.

  • AM machines
  • Process monitoring & calibration
  • Heat treatment & sintering
  • HIP systems & services
  • Pre- & post-processing technology
  • Powders, powder production and analysis
  • Part manufacturers
  • Consulting, training & market data
View online
Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap