NASA laser wire 3D printing of rocket nozzles is much cheaper and five times faster

A new process called Laser Wire Direct Closeout (LWDC) was developed and advanced at NASA to build a less-expensive rocket nozzle in significantly less time. LWDC is a different process than most 3-D printing technologies, which are powder-based and fabricated in layers. It uses a freeform-directed energy wire deposition process to fabricate material in place. This new NASA-patented technology has the potential to reduce build time from several months to several weeks.

Above- Through hot-fire testing at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, engineers put this nozzle through its paces, accumulating more than 1,040 seconds at high combustion chamber pressures and temperatures. Now, this technology is being licensed and considered in commercial applications across the industry. Credits: NASA/MSFC/David Olive