A propellant tank printed with Inconel for the Orbiter rocket engine.
A propellant tank printed with Inconel for the Orbiter rocket engine.

Launcher, a developer of rockets for small satellites, has acquired two Velo3D metal additive manufacturing (AM) machines to print parts in Inconel and titanium.

Launcher is currently working with Velo3D to 3D print a fuel pump, flight turbine housing parts, and pressure vessels for its Orbiter closed cycle liquid rocket engine.

‘Velo3D really delivered on our turbopump, including its 3D printed rotating impeller, all of which functioned perfectly the very first time at 30,000 rpm, using the first prototype,’ said Max Haot, founder & CEO of Launcher. 

‘Rocket engine turbopump parts typically require casting, forging and welding. Tooling required for these processes increases the cost of development and reduces flexibility between design iterations. The ability to 3D print our turbopump, including rotating Inconel shrouded impellers, […]  makes it possible now at a lower cost and increased innovation through iteration between each prototype.’

This story uses material from Velo3D, with editorial changes made by Materials Today.