ADDere Additive Manufacturing
Waukesha, WI
414-327-0000
www.addere.com

One of the latest parts produced by ADDere Additive Manufacturing demonstrates their unique capability of printing not only a rocket combustion chamber and nozzle, but seamlessly merging them into one full size rocket thrust chamber assembly. The scale available with the ADDere laser wire additive manufacturing system provides a viable alternative to relying on assembling a number of components with varying production processes. Further, being able to integrate components at these sizes reduces part count as well as various fastening methods that could lead to failure.

Measuring 1070 mm (42") in height and 610 mm (24.0") in diameter and completely printed out of stainless steel, the part represents a seamless transition between engine components. ADDere’s control system is able to build these large shapes with metallurgical qualities approaching billet grades.

The rocket nozzle assembly took only 20 hours from start to finish. After printing, the nozzle was machined to its finished shape, having a 3 mm sidewall on the thrust chamber body with thicker walls in the combustion chamber portion.

Ultimately, according to ADDere, it’s not just about making rocket engines; it’s about bringing the advantages of 3D metal printing to large-scale components. These advantages include the ability to combine assemblies of parts into one component, allowing for far more advanced shapes than were previously available, as well as the freedom from relying on large production quantities to drive prices down. This printed part is an example of where all those promises manifest.

ADDere features the ability to print longer parts up to 2 meters (6.6') long, 1 meter (3.3') wide, and 1 meter (3.3') tall, with a maximum build part weight of 1000 kg (2204 lbs). The laser power has been increased to 20 kW, allowing for higher deposition rates of up to 9 kg/hour (19.8 lbs/hour). They also specialize in hard to print metals such as: carbon steel, Inconel 625, stainless steel, D2 tool steel, 17-4 PH stainless, H13 tool steel, A2 tool steel, duplex stainless steel, and titanium.

ADDere is a division of Midwest Engineered Systems Inc. (MWES), a company that specializes in complex production systems integration. MWES has been providing custom robotic automation solutions for over 28 years.

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Aerospace & Defense Technology Magazine

This article first appeared in the October, 2020 issue of Aerospace & Defense Technology Magazine.

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