DIYROCKETS has partnered with Sunglass to launch a competition to design an open-source 3D printed rocket engine that could become part of a propulsion system to carry nano-satellites into space.
DIYROCKETS is a space company founded in 2012 to lower the costs of space exploration and Sunglass is a cloud-based 3D design platform founded in 2011. These two startups have joined forces for this challenge to create innovative 3D printed rocket engines which will reduce the costs associated with getting small satellites into low-earth orbits.
“The goal of DIYROCKETS is to lower the cost of building space technology through crowdsourcing and opensourcing,” explained Darlene Damm, one of DIYROCKETS co-founders, “So this particular contest is tackling the challenge of transportation in the space industry, because it’s one of the most expensive things. It’s very costly to transfer things from earth up into space.”
Nano-satellites vary from the size of a smart phone to a shoe box and the 3D printed engine needs to powerful enough to carry a payload of between 0.5kg and 10kg into orbit.
The design needs to be open-source and entrants must use Shapeways 3D printing services to create components in stainless steel. In fact the rocket engine shown in the video above was created by RocketMoonlighting using the Shapeways printing services. There are 3 cash prizes for the winners of this design competition, with the best rocket engine earning $5000. Each winner will also receive $165 credit for 3D printing services at Shapeways.
Registration open until April 6, 2013, 11:59 PM PST
First 3D Draft of Design due April13, 2013, 11:59 PM PST.
Concept Note due April 13, 2013, 11:59 PM PST
Business Case due June 1, 2013, 11:59 PM PST
Final Design due June 1, 2013, 11:59 PM PST
Winners announced by July 1, 2013