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.