October 16, 2013
3D printing is getting ready to revolutionize space travel. ESA is paving the way for 3D-printed metals to build high-quality, intricate shapes with massive cost savings.
ESA and the European Commission have embarked on a project to perfect the printing of space-quality metal components. The AMAZE project – Additive Manufacturing Aiming Towards Zero Waste & Efficient Production of High-Tech Metal Products – involves 28 industrial partners across Europe.
“We want to build the best quality metal products ever made,” said David Jarvis, ESA’s Head of New Materials and Energy Research, during a press conference at the London Science Museum yesterday.
Considered the third industrial revolution among manufacturers, 3D printing builds a solid object from a series of layers, each one printed on top of the last – also known as additive manufacturing.
Almost anything that can be designed by computer can be printed as a physical item, typically by melting powder or wire materials.