3D-printed rocket: In a historic first, a rocket made almost entirely from 3D printing has flown in America. The Terran-1 rocket, made by California-based company Relativity Space, took off from Cape Canaveral, Florida, but unfortunately failed to reach its intended orbit. The 112-foot rocket was almost entirely 3D printed, with 85% of its parts made using the technology.
Relativity Space’s 3D-printed rocket lifted off for the first time, passing a key milestone to demonstrate the vehicle’s in-flight strength before its second stage failed upon reaching space https://t.co/ZQe6pvGmBQ pic.twitter.com/8pMS6rCvjO— Reuters (@Reuters) March 23, 2023
While 3D printing is commonly used in the aerospace industry, Relativity Space took it to a new level with the Terran-1. The company made different machines to create both small and large parts of the rocket, with the goal of having 95% of its parts 3D printed. Most of the electronics, computer chips, rubber seals, and valves, however, were made using pre-existing technology.
The failed launch marks a setback for Relativity Space, which had hoped to challenge established players in the rocket industry with its innovative approach to manufacturing. Despite the setback, the company remains committed to its vision of using 3D printing to streamline the production of rockets and satellites.