From pizza to rocket engines, its safe to say that NASA is really interested in 3D printing these days. But the agency's latest experiment in that realm may be its most spectacular yet. Using a technology known as "selective laser melting," NASA was able to create a rocket injector — the part that shoots fuel into a rocket engine — out of just two separate components, instead of the 163 that were required using traditional manufacturing techniques.
The idea is to improve efficiency and cut costs, without sacrificing reliability or safety. So far, NASA's tests of its 3D-printed rocket injector seem to be going well: this week, the agency announced that the injector recently survived a 6,000-degree Fahrenheit test-firing at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. Watch the test for yourself in NASA's video above and it's easy to see the sky-high potential of 3D printing and other similar additive manufacturing technologies. Somewhere, Elon Musk is probably seething with jealousy.