Ursa Major delivers its first copper-based 3D printed engine components

the Great Bearthe only private company in the United States that focuses solely on rocket propulsion, has delivered its first copper-based 3D-printed rocket engine combustors from its advanced manufacturing lab in Youngstown, Ohio.

3D printing allows Ursa Major to speed up engine production and apply improvements gleaned from real-time testing, reducing costs. Ursa Major’s rocket engines are over 80% 3D mass printed and primarily built and tested at its Burgdorf, Colorado headquarters. Copper-alloy engine components will be tested for space launch and hypersonic applications.

The production and delivery cycle has now been reduced to one month, compared to the minimum six month process that was previously in place when using traditional manufacturing processes.

“Speed ​​is key when it comes to producing rocket engines right now, as the lack of propulsion causes a significant bottleneck in the United States’ access to space and hypersonic testing” , said Joe Laurenti, founder and CEO of Ursa Major.

In October 2021, the Ursa Major Advanced Manufacturing Lab began with federal funding support of $3 million from U.S. Representative Tim Ryan and the Department of Defense-supported Manufacturing Innovation Institute. America does.

“Ursa Major’s goal to help establish the United States as a global supplier of rocket propulsion is consistent with our efforts to foster domestic innovation and manufacturing in Ohio industries,” said said Representative Tim Ryan. “I am thrilled that Youngstown is home to this state-of-the-art facility that will ultimately help the United States regain its leadership in space and hypersonic technologies.”

The facility is equipped with an EOS large-format laser powder bed fusion 3D printer designed to manufacture on-demand components for Ursa Major rocket engines. It is located in the Youngstown Business Incubator, an internationally renowned program focused on developing software and add-on manufacturing businesses in the region.

John Wilczynski, Executive Director of America Makes, said, “Successful projects like this are part of a resurgence in American manufacturing that helps strengthen our domestic supply chain.”

The advanced manufacturing lab expedites the engine development process, allowing Ursa Major to quickly iterate design adjustments in-house to improve engine performance and reliability. The lab was used to quickly redesign Ursa Major’s “Ripley” from a 35,000 to 50,000 pound thrust engine to meet market demand.

Engineering lessons learned from Ripley aided in the development and testing of the company’s other two rocket engine programs, the “Hadley”, a 5,000-pound-thrust, oxygen-rich staged combustion engine used in small launches and the hypersonic, and the recently announced 200,000. “Arroway” thrust book designed for medium and heavy throwing.

Ursa Major’s flexible rocket engines can be used for a range of missions, from air launch to hypersonic flight to orbital missions with numerous restarts. The company’s customers can launch years faster and without the development costs of building engines in-house.

Ursa Major has built and tested more than 50 staged combustion rocket engines to date and its engines have accumulated over 36,000 seconds of run time, more than the typical engine is tested before first flight.

Want to discuss ? Join the conversation on the Global Additive Manufacturing Community Discord.

Get your FREE print subscription to TCT Magazine.

Comments are closed.