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3D Printed Copper Rocket Nozzle Costs Under Two Grand

You don’t think of hobby-grade 3D printing as a good method for creating rocket nozzles. But [Mister Highball] managed to create a copper nozzle using a common printer, a kiln, and some special copper-bearing filament.

The copper filament is about 90% metal. Virtual Foundry recommends preheating it before printing and you have to sinter it in an oven to remove the plastic and leave a solid metal piece which will, of course, shrink.

The results were not great at first, but the final run looked pretty good. You’d do well to take note of any advice on using the filament since it is quite a bit more expensive than regular PLA. There are clearly some very specific steps you need to follow to get good results.

Of course, you also need a kiln and the other equipment you need to handle molten metal. While it is impressive that you can create a metal part this easily, it still isn’t as easy as a normal print and it isn’t much easier than simply casting the part using a lost PLA technique.

While 3D printing rocket parts isn’t a new idea, earlier efforts haven’t used cheap FDM printers. We are looking forward to having a real metal 3D printer one day.

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