NASA Makes 3-D Printing History

Source: NASA

NASA has successfully tested a 3-D printed rocket fuel injector, ushering a new era for 3-D printing to play a more critical role in manufacturing processes. During the test, the 3-D printed injector withstood temperatures of almost 6,000 degrees Fahrenheit, was subjected to 1,400 pounds of pressure per square inch, and generated a record-breaking (for a 3-D printed injector) 20,000 pounds of thrust.

The 3-D printed part was made using a method called selective laser melting, in which an extremely fine metal powder is heated by a fine-tuned laser in order to form an object. The benefit of using this type of technology is that it's extremely precise and often saves time compared to traditional fabrication methods.

In the following video, Fool.com contributor Steve Heller explains this development in 3-D printing and highlights one company that stands to benefit from this manufacturing revolution: 3D Systems (NYSE: DDD  ) .

With the U.S. relying on the rest of the world for such a large percentage of our goods, many investors are ready for the end of the "made in China" era. Well, it may be here. Read all about the biggest industry disrupters since the personal computer in "3 Stocks to Own for the New Industrial Revolution". Just click here to learn more.


Read/Post Comments (3) | Recommend This Article (8)

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  • Report this Comment On September 04, 2013, at 2:08 PM, analyze224 wrote:

    It seems the glass is always half full if not pouring over in the projections of 3D printing co prospects.

    Okay, to review, specifically, NASA chooses a competitor of 3D Systems, EOS, to produce a part which undergoes a successful test.

    3D Systems, because they have very recently purchased Phenix, a small company that offers laser scintering, (even though their IP, (did you mean 3D's patents or Phenix's), are soon to expire, will derive some exciting benefit from the publicizing of EOS'

    success.

    Maybe. But so many other questions arise... which patents are expiring? And if Phenix is of great value wouldn't its principals have held out for more than, (wasn't it 16 million, DDD's purchase price?),

    Can DDD leverage this new acquisition together with its myriad other recent acquisitions in a way that is fully efficient and effective to capitalize and compete with EOS, before the near-term patent expirations?

    (assuming the looming patent expirations regard laser scintering?) We've yet to see anyone carefully and clearly analyze the nature of the expiring patents and the likely implications.

    Of course the publicizing of EOS' success will be received as a sure sign of DDD's prescience in purchasing Phenix, (enen though it was a recent purchase), and in the rightness of every strategic move DDD mgmt has made, thus driving the stock higher, or at least supporting it and thus offsetting other information and analysis such as an appearance that DDD's consumer lines are being received with lackluster enthusiasm, that might otherwise pressure DDD's share price.

    Only time will tell, but thorough and careful analysis is always warranted when purchasing something as expensive (relative to both sales and earnings to date), as DDD shares.

  • Report this Comment On September 05, 2013, at 3:14 PM, Risky88 wrote:

    I dont understand why they are going after aerospace and nasa so much

    shouldnt they be trying to sell this stuff to Ford and GM who sell Millions of cars and trucks not to mention improve fuel standards.

  • Report this Comment On September 09, 2013, at 2:43 PM, rodgerreno wrote:

    there is a lot of hype around these companies---certainly this type of manufacturing will be a part of our future, but ddd does not do metal anything yet. nor do they do human organ building. Someone has tried to push all the capabilities of several companies and research colleges into every 3-d stock. I would like to say that they are overpriced for the now---but underpriced for their probable future. Some things are just too hard to make money on. It has been a source of irritation to me that I have never been able to make any money on carbon fiber---a big product, from softball bats, golf shafts, tennis rackets, to giant airplanes.

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