Wednesday, May 29, 2013

3-D printing grabbing headlines

3-D printing is grabbing a lot of headlines. In a story in Armed Forces Journal, Lt. Cmdr. Michael Llenza says rapidly evolving technology may soon make 3-D printer warfare a reality. In 3-D printing, a part is built layer by layer from powdered ingredients. For the Navy, it means ships would be able to make their own parts instead of pulling into port. (Source: Yahoo News, 05/28/13). Last week NASA said it's given a grant to a company working on a 3-D food printer. It could transform the way astronauts eat in space. (Source: Space, 05/24/13). Next year, a 3-D printer is scheduled to arrive at the International Space Station. It will produce the first parts ever made off planet Earth. (Source: NBC News, 05/24/13). Earlier this year a J-2X with a 3-D part was tested at Stennis Space Station, Miss. Pratt & Whitney crafted the part with a 3-D print method called Selective Laser Melting to make the exhaust port cover.