The company will supply a number of large selective laser melting machines to develop liquid rocket engine applications for national security space launch services. 

Aerojet Rocketdyne and its subcontractors will design and develop larger scale parts to be converted from conventional manufacturing to additive manufacturing (3D printing).

"Incremental manufacturing advances have been applied over the history of these programs with great success,” said Jeff Haynes, programme manager of additive manufacturing at Aerojet Rocketdyne. “Additive manufacturing shifts these advances into high gear and ultimately transforms how these engines are produced."

Six times larger

"We have developed and successfully demonstrated additive-manufactured hardware over the last four years but the machines have been limited in size to 10-inch cubes," added Steve Bouley, vice president of space launch systems. "These next generation systems are about six times larger, enabling more options for our rocket engine components."

Under the contract, Aerojet Rocketdyne will use three different alloys, include nickel, copper and aluminium alloys. The parts ranging from simple, large ducts to complex heat exchangers are planned to be demonstrated in full scale.