Industry Special: Space

Status of AM for Space Applications

The space industry continues to extensively use metal Additive Manufacturing for propulsion systems, vehicles, and satellite components. In 2023, several global launches, that included critical AM components from companies like UNITED LAUNCH ALLIANCE (with engines from BLUE ORIGIN, AEROJET ROCKETDYNE), ROCKET LAB, SPACEX, DAWN AEROSPACE, ABL SPACE SYSTEMS, were completed. RELATIVITY SPACE showcased various AM processes on their Terran 1 launch in March 2023, including DED tanks and various L-PBF propulsion components, which incorporated the successful flight of L-PBF GRCop-42 (Cu-Cr-Nb) in collaboration with NASA. Another area of growth is the use of AM as a learning tool, with student teams around the world successfully building and testing combustion chambers, turbomachinery, and other rocket hardware components.