Metal Technology Inc. (MTI), an Albany, Ore.-based forger, is collaborating with NASA Johnson Space Center (JSC) to develop the next generation of rocket engines. NASA currently has multiple business units working their own projects as part of an effort to leverage best practices using digital manufacturing methods, including 3D metal printing. Recognizing the potential of 3D printing in space hardware, MTI has embraced the technology and is working to produce the first test components for the customers they have served with traditional manufacturing techniques for over 30 years.

MTI has produced two such components for the engineering team at NASA JSC out of Inconel 718. The material is robust enough to withstand extreme heat and corrosive environments without losing its rigidity or becoming brittle.

“The Project provided amazing dialogue and collaboration between the NASA and MTI development teams, and the results were excellent,” said MTI CEO Gary Cosmer.

MTI has previously produced forgings for the Orion capsule, the likely platform to travel on NASA’s new launch vehicle, the SLS. MTI creates products using proprietary deep-draw forming, forging, spinning, CNC machining and additive-manufacturing methodologies to produce custom designs in virtually any configuration based on customer specifications.