Orbex introduces metal rocket engine on the SLM®800

Image: slm-solutions.us

Orbex has introduced the world’s largest metal rocket engine 3D printed in a single piece on the SLM®800. The novel Orbex launcher not only uses 100% renewable fuel to cut carbon emissions by 90% and a novel zero-shock staging and payload separation resulting in zero orbital debris, but was also design-optimized for selective laser melting, helping to create a structure 30% lighter and 20% more efficient than any other launch vehicle in its category.

Orbex has received £30M in public and private funding from sources including the U.K. Orbex aerospace engineers partnered closely with the applications engineering team at SLM Solutions headquarters in Lübeck, Germany to ensure success transferring the design into selective laser melting production – a feat that required the partnership of the equipment provider due to the complexity and size of the component.

The SLM®800 large-format metal additive manufacturing system features a 280 × 500 mm powder bed that can build parts 850 mm tall, allowing the Prime engine to be built in a special nickel alloy in a single piece.