Relativity Space to 3D print rocket parts using sustainable materials with 6K

Relativity Space and 6K have announced a partnership that will see scrap materials turned into powder that will then be used to additively manufacture rocket components.

This closed loop process will be powered by 6K’s UniMelt microwave plasma technology, which last week received its first two commissions, and help to enhance Relativity’s sustainability. The partners will also focus on the development of new materials designed specifically for rocket manufacturing and space travel.

Relativity and 6K’s agreement will work through three phases, going from a proof of concept through to a Relativity-printed part. Their collaboration will prove out the process of taking Relativity’s scrap material and creating premium and certified powder with 6K’s UniMelt process; give Relativity complete line of sight and control over the supply chain to ensure the quality of the powder is sufficient for space travel; and ultimately with parts being printed from what was scrap material, become leaders of sustainability in additive manufacturing production.

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“Relativity is completely reimagining the aerospace supply chain, by creating an autonomous robotic factory that can additively manufacture a rocket in 60 days. This partnership with 6K will add another important element to our very unique approach: the ability to reuse materials,” said Tim Ellis, CEO of Relativity. “We are looking forward to working with 6K to add this sustainability to our supply chain, while ensuring closed loop traceability all the way through.”

Dr. Aaron Bent, CEO of 6K added: “Relativity is pushing the boundaries of additive manufacturing by 3D printing a complete rocket and we see this partnership as a natural extension of their forward-thinking practice. Our ability to turn their used powder and parts into premium powder through the UniMelt process provides them with a sustainable source for AM powder. We are proud to be partnering with Relativity to explore ways to increase sustainability, recycling and environmentally responsible manufacturing processes, which the entire AM industry is uniquely posed to be able to integrate into standard practices.”

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