Student Group Launching 3D Printed Rocket
Tom Spendlove posted on April 23, 2015 |

Students for the Exploration and Development of Space (SEDS) at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) are once again using 3D printing for a rocket engine, and this time running a Kickstarter campaign to help with funding. The student group gained national attention in 2013 for Tri-D, their first 3D printed rocket project.  

This new rocket is called Vulcan-1, and built in partnership with GPI Prototype Inc using direct metal sintering. Vulcan-1 is expected to have 3336 Newtons of thrust, up from 1112 Newtons from the previous design. Scaling up to 8 inches from the previous 3.5 inch diameter is a big change for this iteration, along with changing the material from cobalt chromium to Iconel 718, a nickel chromium alloy.


Vulcan-1 Rocket powered by 3D Engine

SEDS students are set to compete in Green River, Utah in June with the Experimental Sounding Rocket Association. The competition stresses that as many parts as possible should be completely designed and built by students. Vulcan-1 will be the first rocket powered by a 3D printed engine to be launched by a student organization. A secondary goal is to become the world record holders for highest flight for a 3D printed rocket.

Vulcan-1 is an incredibly ambitious project on a tight timeframe with very limited resources. The team uses advisors from NASA, local industry and USCD to alleviate some of the pressures of rocket design and development. The student organization has a solid structure and several officers are featured in the video. The campaign video is well done and looks professional while still capturing the ambition and wonder of space exploration.


Vulcan-1 Rocket powered by 3D Engine

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