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Joined: 6 Feb 2005
Age: 39
Gender: Male
Posts: 20,825
Location: The 27th Path of Peh.

08 Apr 2018, 11:53 am

I thought I'd share this because from what I gather additive manufacturing of this sort is nowhere near mainstream readiness for high through-put parts but it does seem like it's ready to make a really powerful impact on high cost long-tail items like in this case 3D-printed rocket fuel tanks. The narrator's absolutely terrible to listen to, you'll catch that right up front, but the suggestion was that rockets taking advantage of additive manufactured parts could see an 80% cost reduction. If that's the case it's actually pretty damn good because this will be crushing a lot of what used to be cost-prohibitive bottlenecks, not just for sending more debris up into low earth orbit but manufacturing on the ground and the different kinds of ideas engineers can now entertain that may become cost feasible that weren't before.

A good example of a long-tail part where additive manufacturing is superior in this regard is the hydraulic manifold shown below. I got this picture from an article that I'll attach a link to below the image. This image displays the heat-treating or sintering process that a Destop Metal printed part would have to go through in order to bake out the binding materials:

Image ... facturing/

"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. To be your own man is a hard business. If you try it, you'll be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privelege of owning yourself" - Rudyard Kipling