Technology Driving The Private Sector Space Race

Technology Driving The Private Sector Space Race

Many early prototypes stuck in dirt banks and end up decorating tops of trees. This is due to the volatile nature of space rocket engines. Rocket scientists have devised a way to describe unintentional explosions, called rapid unscheduled destruction (or RUD).

Each time a rocket engine explodes, it is necessary to identify the cause. The cycle continues until the engine’s failure is fix. A new, improve engine is design and manufacture. It is then ship to the test location and fired. This is one of the major causes of delays in developing rocket engines for a rapidly growing space industry.

Today’s 3D printing technology uses heat-resistant metal alloys to revolutionize trial-and-error rocket design. In just days, whole structures that use to require hundreds of components can now print. As the private sector space race intensifies, you can expect to see more rockets breaking down into smaller pieces over the next few years. However, the parts that they actually made of will become increasingly scarce.

Rocket engines produce the equivalent of releasing a tonne worth of TNT per second and then direct that energy into an exhaust which reaches temperatures well above 3,000. It takes at least three years to build an engine from scratch that can do this without disassembling in an unscheduled manner.

Rocket engines are extremely complex. Each of the 5,600 parts that made Neil Armstrong’s 1969 rocket to the Moon with F-1 Saturn V engines had 5600 each. Many of the parts from different suppliers so each one had to individually weld and bolted together manually. This took time.

In the 1960s, this lengthy and expensive process was fine as the US government funneled money into Nasa to fund the space race. But for private companies, it is simply too slow.

Rocket Fuel Can Be Add Space

Reduce the number of components is key to speeding up engine development. This reduces the time required to assemble the engine, and reduces disruptions caused by supply chain delays. Modifying manufacturing processes is the best way to achieve this. Space companies are moving away from subtractive manufacturing, which involves removing material to form a part, to additive manufacturing processes. These processes add material bit by bit to build up a part.

This means 3D printing. Engineers are increasingly using selective laser sintering to create 3D printed parts for rocket engines in an additive process. The process involves first coating the metal powder and then melting the shapes with lasers. The metal will bind to the areas it has melted and remain powdery where it is not. After the shape is cooled, another layer is added of powder and the part is assembled layer by layer. Because it can withstand extremely high temperatures, Inconel copper superalloy powder is recommended for rocket engines.

Selective laser sintering makes it possible to print multiple parts in-house as one part in just days. Engineers can fix a RUD using 3D modeling software. They can also integrate complex parts into new rocket engines that are ready for testing firing within days.

3D printing helps reduce the overall weight of the rocket by requiring fewer nuts, bolts, and welds to create their intricate structure. 3D printing is particularly useful for manufacturing complex regeneratively cool nozzles that cool and heat the fuel.

The number of parts required to redesign the Apollo F-1 engines was reduced from 5,600 down to 40 by 3D printing. Although no company has yet to reduce the number of parts to one, it is clear that 3D printing has enabled a new era in rocket engine development.

Viable Business

This is important for private space companies. It is expensive to build a rocket. As the RUD pile grows, investors may become feisty. When faulty rockets force companies to delay their launch dates, it can be a serious PR blow to those who are trying to launch payloads in space.

Virtually every new space startup and rocket company is using 3D metal-printing technology. It speeds up their development and helps them to survive the critical years before they can get into space. Rocket Lab uses its 3D-printed engine for rocket launches from New Zealand and Relativity Space 3D prints its entire rocket. Orbex and Skyrora are two of the UK’s most prominent 3D-printed engines. This latter group aims to launch a rocket with a 3D-printed engine by 2022.

It remains to see if a complete rocket, including its engine can be 3D print in one piece. This is the clear direction of travel in an industry where light-weight, complex and in-house manufacturing will determine which payloads are placed in orbit. These payloads may also end up disassembling at an inopportune time.

Printed Guns May Be More Dangerous

Printed Guns May Be More Dangerous

Despite fears that guns made with 3D printers will let criminals and terrorists easily make untraceable. Undetectable plastic weapons at home, my own experience with 3D manufacturing quality control suggests that. At least for now, 3D-printed firearms may pose as much, or maybe even more, of a threat to the people who try to make and use them.

One firearms expert suggested that even the best 3D-printed guns. Might only fire five shots before blowing up in your hand. A weapon with a design or printing defect might blow up or come apart in. Its user’s hand before firing even a single bullet.

As someone who uses 3D printing in his work and researches quality assurance technologies. I’ve had the opportunity to see numerous printing defects and analysis what causes them. The problem is not with the concept of 3D printing. But with the exact process followed to create a specific item. Consumer 3D printers don’t always create high-quality items, and regular people aren’t likely to engage in rigorous. Quality assurance testing before using a 3D-printed firearm.

Problems Are Common At Guns Home

Many consumer 3D printers experience a variety of glitches, causing defects in the items they make. At times, an object detaches from the platform it’s on while being made. Ending up loop side, broken or otherwise damage. Flaws can much harder to detect when the flow of filament the melt plastic material the item being made from too hot or cold or too fast or slow, or stops when it shouldn’t. Even with all of the settings right, sometimes 3D-printed objects still have defects.

When a poorly made toy or trinket breaks, it can be hazardous. A child might left with a part that he or she could choke on, for example. However, when a firearm breaks, the result could be even more serious even fatal. In 2013, agents from the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives tested 3D-printed guns and found that the quality of materials and manufacturing determined whether a gun would fire multiple rounds successfully, or break apart during or after the first shot.

Home printing also risks that nefarious people might tamper with the design files on a website, publish intentionally defective designs or even create a virus that interferes with the operation of a 3D printer itself. Hackers may deliberately target 3D printed guns, for ideological or other reasons, or inadvertently cause defects with more general attacks against 3D printing systems.

Not Up To Commercial Standards Guns

Commercial manufacturers of guns double-check their designs, test models and perform rigorous examinations to ensure their firearms work properly. Defects still happen, but they’re much less likely than with home-printed weapons.

Home printers are not designed to produce the level of consistent quality required for weapon production. They also don’t have systems to detect all of the things that could go wrong and make printed weapons potentially dangerous.

This is not to say that 3D printing itself is unsafe. In fact, many companies use 3D printing to manufacture parts where safety is critical. Printed parts are used in airplanes and for medical devices, patient-specific surgical instruments, customized time-release drugs, prosthetics and hearing aids. Scientists have even proposed printing scaffolding to grow or repair human body parts.

Solutions To Defects, But Not Ready Yet

In time, improvements to popularly available 3D printers may allow safe production of reliable parts. For instance, emerging technologies could monitor the process of printing and the filament used. The group I work with and others have developed ways to assess parts, both during printing and afterward. Other researchers are developing ways to prevent malicious defects from being add to existing printing instructions and secure printing, more generally.

So far, though, these advances are being develop and test in research laboratories, not incorporate into mass-produce 3D printers. For the moment, most quality control over 3D-printed parts left to the person operating the printer, or whoever is using the item. Most consumers don’t have the technical skills needed to design or perform the appropriate tests, and likely won’t ever learn them. Until the machines more sophisticate, whatever made with them whether firearms or other items isn’t guarantee to reliable enough to use safely.

3D Printing Of Body Parts But Regulations Are Not Ready

3D Printing Of Body Parts But Regulations Are Not Ready

3D printing has seen a huge increase in medical use over the past few years. Engineers and medical professionals routinely use 3D printing to create surgical tools and prosthetic hands. However, 3D printing is only the beginning of a revolution in this field.

Bioprinting, an emerging technology that is rapidly changing the landscape of manufacturing, is poise for further advancements. Bioprinting is a technique that uses 3D printers to create three-dimensional structures from biological materials. This includes cells and biochemicals. It also employs precise layer-by-layer positioning. The ultimate goal of bioprinting is to reproduce functioning tissue and materials, such as organs. This can then transplant into humans.

In collaboration with Saint Louis University and Bournemouth University, we have been mapping the adoption 3D printing technology in the field health care and bioprinting. Although the future seems promising from both a technical and scientific standpoint, it is not clear how bioprinting will be regulate. This uncertainty could prove to be problematic for both patients and manufacturers, and could hinder bioprinting’s ability to live up its promise.

From 3D Printing To Bioprinting

3D printing is the origin of bioprinting. 3D printing is a general term that refers to technologies that combine materials, often layer upon layer to create objects from data in a 3D model. Although initially limited in its applications, 3D printing is now widely used across many industries. 3D printing is now a common method of manufacturing parts for cars, educational tools such as frog dissection kits, and even 3D-printed homes. British Airways and the United States Air Force are both developing 3D printing methods for airplane parts.

3D printing is used by doctors and researchers in medicine for many purposes. It can be used for exact replicas of patient’s body parts. Implants can be customized to fit the needs of patients in reconstructive and plastic surgery using biomodels that are made possible by software tools. For example, human heart valves are being 3D printed using several processes, but none have been transplanted yet. In dentistry, there have been many advances in 3D printing methods over the years.

Bioprinting is a rapidly growing industry that uses 3D printing technology to create a variety of products using biological components. This includes human tissue, and more recently vaccines

Although bioprinting isn’t a new field, as it is based on general 3D printing principles it is an innovative concept for legal and regulatory purposes. Regulators may not know how to approach the field, and this is where things could go wrong.

The Latest Printing Technology

Scientists are still far away from 3D-printed organs as it is difficult to connect the printed structures to the vascular system that carries life-sustaining blood and lymph throughout our body. They have succeeded in printing certain types of non-vascularized tissue, such as cartilage. They are also able to create metal and ceramic scaffolds that support bone tissue using different types bio printable materials such as gels or nanomaterials. There are a number of promising animal studies that have done, including ones that involve blood vessels, cardiac tissue, and skin. These results suggest that this field is closer to its ultimate goal, which is transplantable organs.

Bioprinting technology will continue to advance at an accelerated pace, even though there are limitations in current technology. This could potentially improve the lives of many patients. Numerous research groups reported numerous breakthroughs in 2019. For example, hydrogels were use by bioengineers at Rice University and Washington Universities to print the first complex vascular networks. The first 3D-print human heart was create by scientists at Tel Aviv University. It contain cells and blood vessels, ventricles, chambers, and made using cells and biological material from a human patient. A team from Swansea University in the UK developed a bioprinting method to create artificial bone matrix using durable, regenerative biomaterial.

Clone Printing

Although the future is promising, there are still many hurdles to overcome in bioprinting regulations. It is difficult to define what bioprinting is from a conceptual perspective. Take the example of a 3D-printed heart. Is it better to call an organ or a product? Should regulators consider it a medical device or an organ?

There are many questions that regulators need to answer. They must decide whether bioprinting should have to be regulate under existing or new frameworks and, if so, which ones. They should apply regulations to biologics, which is a class that includes complex pharmaceuticals such as treatments for cancer or rheumatoid, since biologic materials are involve. Is there a better regulatory framework for medical devices that can be use to custom-make 3D-print medical devices, such as splints for babies with life-threatening medical conditions?

Bio Printed Materials

Scholars and commentators in Europe and the U.S. have debate whether bio print materials should be grant patent protection due to the moral issues they raise. A parallel can drawn from Dolly the sheep, 20 years ago. The U.S. Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit ruled that patentable cloned sheep could not be grant because they were identical to naturally occurring sheep. This case is an example of the similarities between cloning, bioprinting, and other forms of cloning. Many people speculate that clone printing will become a reality in the near future. This has the potential to revive extinct species and solve the shortage of organ transplants.

Dolly, the sheep’s case illustrates the court’s unwillingness to follow this path. Based on current law, a patent application for this nature could be reject if bioprinters, or even clone printers, can be use to reproduce not only organs, but also humans using cloning technology. Bournemouth University is leading a study fund by European Commission that will be complete in 2020. It aims to provide legal guidance regarding the various issues related to intellectual property and regulation.

However, European regulators could classify bioprinting products as medical devices. This is because there has been a long-standing regulatory system for medical devices. The FDA in the United States has published guidance regarding 3D-printed medical devices but not the details of bioprinting. Importantly, this guidance is not binding. It represents only the thoughts of one agency at a time.