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ISRO tests 3D Printed Rocket Engine

Why is it in the news?

  • The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has achieved a significant milestone by successfully conducting hot testing of a 3D printed liquid rocket engine.

More about the news

  • The engine, known as the PS4 engine, constitutes the fourth stage of the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV).
  • The engine was developed by the Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre (LPSC) of ISRO, leveraging Additive Manufacturing (AM) technology, commonly referred to as 3D printing.

Additive Manufacturing (AM) / 3D Printing


  • Additive Manufacturing is a process of creating three-dimensional objects from a digital model by sequentially adding material layer by layer.
  • This contrasts with traditional subtractive manufacturing, where material is removed from a solid block to form the desired object.

Materials Used in AM:

  • Thermoplastics
  • Metals and metal alloys
  • Ceramics
  • Biomaterials such as bioinks

Key Applications of AM Technology:

  • Healthcare: Custom implants; Tumor models; and Surgical instruments.
  • Aerospace and Defence: Airframe components; Landing gears; and Drones.
  • Electronics: Wearable devices; Robots; and Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) devices.
  • Others: Construction; Consumer goods (clothing, furniture); and Automotive parts.

Advantages of AM Technology:

  • Reduced need for large stockpiles of parts.
  • Faster manufacturing process compared to traditional methods.
  • Ability to create intricate and bespoke designs.
  • Efficient use of materials, reducing waste.
  • Ability to create objects with varying material properties.

Challenges of AM Technology

  • Substantial upfront cost for equipment.
  • Relatively slow compared to traditional methods.
  • Issues with consistency and reliability of printed parts.
  • Lack of comprehensive international standards.

Other Challenges:

  • Need for skilled professionals in AM technology.
  • Limited options for printable materials.
  • Difficulties in integrating AM designs with existing systems.
Government Initiatives

路聽聽聽聽聽聽 National Strategy for Additive Manufacturing (2022): Released by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) to promote the adoption of AM technology.

路聽聽聽聽聽聽 3D Printing Lab (National Institute of Electronics & Information Technology, Aurangabad): Established to support research and development in AM.

路聽聽聽聽聽 National Centre for Additive Manufacturing (2023): Set up by MeitY in collaboration with the Government of Telangana to advance AM technology in India.


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