As time goes on, it seems like 3D printers can be used to produce anything. Really... anything.

NASA made that point clear, putting its 3D printed turbopump through a brutal stress test at its Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama on Wednesday, August 26. The rocket engine fuel pump boasts hundreds of complex parts, including a turbine that spins a mind-boggling 90,000-plus rotations per minute. What's especially amazing is this 3D printed turbopump was constructed with 45 percent fewer parts than pumps made any other way.

"Designing, building and testing a 3D printed rocket part as complex as the fuel pump was crucial to Marshall's upcoming tests of an additively manufactured demonstrator engine made almost entirely with 3D printed parts," said Mary Beth Koelbl, deputy manager of Marshall's Propulsion Systems Department, in a statement on NASA's website.

"By testing this fuel pump and other rocket parts made with additive manufacturing, NASA aims to drive down the risks and costs associated with using an entirely new process to build rocket engines."

Added Marty Calvert, the design lead for the turbopump: 

"NASA is making big advances in the additive manufacturing arena with this work. Several companies have indicated that the parts for this fuel pump were the most complex they have ever made with 3D printing."

Tested at full strength, the turbopump was able to pump 1,200 gallons of liquid hydrogen per minute, which is enough to produce 35,000 pounds of thrust of an upper-stage rocket engine.

Amazing stuff. Don't forget, NASA is slowly 3D printing an entire rocket, as well.

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