Europe’s joint space agency plans to ‘print’ spacecraft parts
Metal parts for spacecraft, nuclear reactors can be "printed" as single piece, ESA said
BERLIN—The European Space Agency (ESA) says it has developed a technology that allows metal parts for spacecraft and nuclear reactors to be “printed” as a single piece.
In recent years three-dimensional printing has become commonplace in manufacturing.
But so far this method has largely been limited to making plastic objects.
ESA says its metal-printing technology can be used to create more complex shapes than with traditional techniques and leaves almost no waste material.
The Paris-based space agency presented several sample objects capable of withstanding temperatures of up to 1,000 degrees Celsius at an event in London.
It aims to make the parts even more durable in the coming years.