Case Study

Leveraging Metal 3D Printing & Advanced Design Software for Advanced Rocket Propulsion Development

Mark II Injector Block Approx. 5in3 (130 mm2) – Material: Ti 6AI-4V

In collaboration with Velo3D and nTopology, Aerojet Rocketdyne undertook the development of an advanced “quad” reaction control system (RCS) for propulsion, aimed at supporting NASA’s Artemis program. The initiative targeted substantial enhancements in affordability, reliability, and performance to meet the demanding requirements of lunar exploration. Utilizing Velo3D’s fully integrated metal additive manufacturing (AM) solution and nTopology’s advanced design software, Aerojet Rocketdyne achieved remarkable results in streamlining production, reducing part complexity, and enhancing functionality.

The Mark II injector block in different orientations. The part is comprised of Titanium 6AI-4V and was printed on a Velo3D Sapphire metal 3D printer.

At a Glance

Integrated Manufacturing

Aerojet Rocketdyne used Velo3D’s metal AM solution to overcome traditional challenges, printing flat and optimizing geometry, reducing time and cost.

Design Optimization

Collaboration with nTopology enabled the development of an application-specific geometry, incorporating lattice structures and flow channels for a 67% mass reduction.

Cost-Effective Innovation

Integration of Velo3D’s metal AM and nTopology’s design software yielded a quad injector 1/5 the mass, 1/2 the size, and 1/3 the cost of conventional versions, enhancing affordability and performance for space exploration.