Elon Musk Creates Rocket Parts With the Wave of a Hand

by Nancy Atkinson on September 5, 2013

We knew SpaceX CEO Elon Musk was powerful, but now he’s gone all Ironman on us. Last week on Twitter he posted a teaser, saying, “Will post video of designing a rocket part with hand gestures & immediately printing in titanium.”

And now, here it is.

“I believe we’re on the verge of a major breakthrough in design and manufacturing,” says Musk in the video, “in being able to take a concept of something from your mind and translate into a 3-D object intuitively on the computer, then make that virtual 3-D object real just by printing it. It’s going to revolutionize manufacturing and design in the 21st century.”

See a montage of images of a SuperDraco rocket part made of Inconel-X, an austenitic nickel-chromium-based superalloy, emerge from a 3-D printer:

SpaceX SuperDraco Inconel rocket chamber with regenerative cooling jacket emerges from EOS 3D metal printer. Via Elon Musk on Twitter.

SpaceX SuperDraco inconel rocket chamber with regenerative cooling jacket emerges from EOS 3D metal printer. Via Elon Musk on Twitter.


Musk and his design team have been working on using natural gesture-based interaction with a computer-aided design program called Leap Motion, allowing designers to work quickly to create parts, and then equally as quick, use 3-D printing in a metal superalloy to create the part.

Very cool.

About 

Nancy Atkinson is Universe Today's Senior Editor. She also works with Astronomy Cast, and is a NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador.

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