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Relativity Space to build the first rocket 3D Printing factory

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With backing from NASA, rocket startup Relativity Space is creating the first autonomous rocket factory. The company is planning to produce 95% of rocket components with 3D printing, and the first orbital launch is expected in late 2020.

 

This is a guest contribution by Egor Driagin, Chief Marketing Officer at Top 3D Shop

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Source: www.relativityspace.com

The new agreement will provide the California-based startup with exclusive access to NASA’s infrastructure and financial aid from the Mississippi Development Authority for building a large-scale highly automated 3D printing rocket factory. The company will lease a 20,000-square-meter building at NASA’s John C. Stennis Space Center for nine years. The test stands and all the necessary equipment on the site allow for convenient engine testing. The agreement provides an option to extend the lease for another 10 years. The company aims to create 200 jobs and invest $59 million in the state. In exchange, the state of Mississippi offers a reimbursement of expenses and a tax incentive package.

image2.jpgSource: www.relativityspace.com

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The new factory will produce Relativity Space’s first 3D printed rocket – Terran 1. This vehicle can carry up to 2,756 lbs. into low Earth orbit. Both stages will be powered by 3D printed Aeon engines fueled by methane and liquid oxygen. The first stage will be powered by nine engines, stage two will be equipped with only one. The rocket is priced at $10 million per launch. It is expected that due to the use of the 3D printing technology the manufacturing cycle will not exceed 60 days. 

Although the company is planning to construct its own launch facility, the first rockets will be launched from Cape Canaveral. The launchpad and all the supporting infrastructure will be provided by the U.S. Air Force. The company was allowed to use Launch Complex (LC) 16, which was built for tests of Titan I and Titan II, and then Pershing I and Pershing II missiles. The last launch took place there in 1988. 

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Source: www.relativityspace.com

Most of the metal parts will be manufactured by Stargate, Relativity Space’s first 3D printer. The scalable system features multi-axis robotic arms with lasers. The machine uses metal wire feedstock as a printing material. In February 2019, Relativity Space was granted a machine learning 3D metal printing patent, issued for “real-time adaptive control of additive manufacturing processes using machine learning” (US20180341248A1).

“This agreement demonstrates again NASA’s commitment to work with our industry partners to expand commercial access to low Earth orbit. This helps NASA maintain focus on the ambitious Artemis program that will land the first female and the next male on the south pole of the Moon by 2024,” said Rick Gilbrech, director of  Stennis Space Center. “Relativity is a valuable member of the Stennis federal city and we look forward to building on our already successful partnership.”

The first orbital launch is expected in 2020. The company is planning to enter the commercial market in 2021.

 

The World’s Fastest Dental Model 3D Printer

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This is a guest contribution by Egor Driagin, Chief Marketing Officer at Top 3D Shop

Structo, Singapore-based dental 3D printer manufacturer partners with Ulab, a U.S.-based orthodontic treatment planning software developer to modernize the production of clear dental aligners. The two companies announced their partnership focused on supplying various segments of the market with their new dentistry solutions. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Source: www.structo3d.com

In the framework of the new project, Structo’s DentaForm 3D printer will be used together with the uLab uDesign treatment planning software to create aligner models. The 3D printer will become a part of the uLab’s uPrint ecosystem.

 Joe Breeland, chief commercial officer at uLab commented: “DentaForm’s high throughput capabilities of printing up to 10 arches in 30 minutes is exactly what existing uLab customers need to help them with their in-office aligner manufacturing.” 

The companies’ cooperation will also include working on additional solutions, such as Structo’s Velox desktop 3D printer and Structo Elements, a modular 3D printing system capable of printing up to 500 models per day.

 

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=asDMnBZDXZg (Structo 3D)

“Our teams will also collaborate on new products that will involve the rest of our portfolio,” said a chief commercial officer at Structo, Dhruv Sahgal. “On top of our Velox desktop 3D printer, another exciting new solution that we are working on is an aligner specific module for our Elements automated and modular factory in a box.”

Structo introduced its first dental 3D printers back in 2014 – they were intended for building patient-specific devices and dental models. Structo’s proprietary technology MSLA (Mask Stereolithography) allows to print much faster than other SLA 3D printers. One of the key partners of the company is ClearCaps, a German clear dental aligner manufacturer. Last year, ClearCaps managed to produce 250 models per day with the DentaForm system.

 

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lE8TxgpXx9M (Structo 3D)

The new joint project involves the integration of the DentaForm system into the uLab platform that allows dentists to create digital models based on intraoral 3D digital scans of the patients. uLab allows orthodontists to quickly design treatment plans for aligners and create dental movement plans. The resulting 3D digital model can be exported directly to 3D printers in dental practitioner’s office. Since the software’s launch in summer of 2018, it was utilized in treatment of over 13,000 dental patients. 

Structo DentaForm is the seventh 3D printer integrated into the uLab platform. Others include Carbon M2; the Objet 500 and 260VS Dental selection from Stratasys; the Formlabs Form 2 and Vida and Micro XL from EnvisionTec.