SpaceTai, a Chinese startup, is in the process of developing rockets and engines using 3D printing tech. They are targeting the commercial space industry and aim to cut down the costs by 80% – that’s one-fifth of the current average.
SpaceTai, established in March of 2021, claims to be capable of manufacturing above 90% rocket parts and equipment using its 3D printers and cutting down the production costs.
Currently, the companies that are producing rockets by developing 3D printing technology are American and UK companies like Rocket Lab, SpaceX, Skyrora, and Orbex.
Right now, SpaceTai is working on “Xiaoyi”, or ‘small ant’ – a rocket engine that will use kerosene and liquid oxygen as propellant fuel. The startup has claimed superior engine performance than the commonly used gas generator cycle technology that is used widely in the commercial space industry.
The start-up has both designed and produced its metal 3D printer. It has also developed its own auxiliary 3D printing software and a process for its 3D printing. Anyhow, the company is currently working on a glitch that’s coming up in its 3D printer in Xi’an, its manufacturing line.
SpaceTai is also working on a 3D printer that will manufacture rocket fuselages. The company claims it can manufacture fuselages within 3 months. Those 3D printers are currently under construction at the Shanghai plant of the company.
Not just that, the startup is also working on building a mall online for its 3D metal printing services in hope that it will be used by more industries.
SpaceTai also hopes to send a self-made rocket into orbit in the year 2024 after completing a suborbital test flight in the year 2023.