Four small vents—each the size of a one-liter water bottle—represent one giant leap for deep space exploration, and aerospace manufacturing too. The vents are Arconic’s first additively-manufactured flying space products. Arconic 3D printed the vents for Lockheed Martin for service on NASA’s Orion spacecraft, which will one day carry humans to Mars.

The components are designed to equilibrate the pressure between the inner and outer hull of the spacecraft. The original components were fabricated from several individual components and welded together. Our 3D printed, nickel superalloy versions take about 40 hours to produce versus weeks for the traditional manufacturing method.

“By partnering with Lockheed Martin on design, we optimized both process and performance,” said Don Larsen, Vice President and General Manager, R&D and Advanced Manufacturing at Arconic.

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3D Printing / Additive Manufacturing, News