Ursa Major, the rocket propulsion company, has decided to extend its partnership with America Makes for 3D printing.

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Ursa Major, a renowned rocket propulsion company based in Denver, has recently announced an extension of its partnership with America Makes, the Manufacturing USA institute located in Youngstown, OH. This collaboration between Ursa Major and America Makes began in 2021, giving rise to the Ursa Major Advanced Manufacturing Lab at the Youngstown Business Incubator with the help of $3 million in federal funding. The latest agreement secures additional funding from America Makes and extends the partnership through mid-2024.

In July 2022, Ursa Major utilized the EOS M400 powder bed fusion (PBF) platform to 3D print prototype thrust chambers for their Hadley liquid rocket engine. These chambers were made from GRCop-42, a copper-chrome-niobium alloy developed by NASA. The success of this endeavor prompted Ursa Major to seek further advancements by leveraging additive manufacturing technology for producing production parts and hardware for engine qualification. Remarkably, 3D printing constitutes over 80 percent of the mass of Ursa Major’s rocket engines.

With the extension of the partnership, Ursa Major aims to capitalize on their Advanced Manufacturing Lab in Youngstown, accelerating engine production timelines while reducing the production and delivery cycle for combustion chambers from six months to just one month. Brad Appel, CTO of Ursa Major, emphasizes the critical role played by the lab in enhancing the company’s additive manufacturing capabilities.

John Wilczynski, Executive Director of America Makes, echoes Appel’s sentiments and expresses his excitement about the collaboration’s contribution to improving the producibility and lead time reduction of defense industrial base relevant parts. America Makes views Ursa Major as a valuable addition to their ecosystem in Youngstown.

The partnership between Ursa Major and America Makes gains heightened significance in light of the Biden administration’s executive order on federally-funded R&D and domestic manufacturing. This executive order aims to expedite the transition from prototyping to production and facilitate the commercialization of intellectual property that has been developed through federal spending. The alignment between Ursa Major and America Makes, and their continued progress, aligns seamlessly with the objectives outlined in this executive order.

Additionally, the collaboration between Ursa Major and America Makes has the potential to drive advances in space hardware production and contribute to the development of new standards for domestic manufacturing in the United States. As the space industry becomes increasingly privatized, public-private partnerships become increasingly crucial in ensuring that valuable research findings are disseminated to a wide audience. Ursa Major’s involvement in this partnership signifies their commitment to not only delivering end-use parts but also spearheading advancements in space manufacturing.

This partnership exemplifies the evolving landscape of business in the United States, with Ursa Major blazing a trail as an innovator on multiple fronts. By staying updated on the latest news and developments in the 3D printing industry, you can witness firsthand the transformative potential of additive manufacturing in various sectors. Keep abreast of industry updates while also receiving information and offers from third-party vendors.

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