Relativity Space CEO Tim Ellis talks 3D-printed rockets at TC Sessions: Space in LA

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The launch industry is undergoing a number of major changes, among them the shift from traditional manufacturing to 3D printing — which Relativity Space is spearheading. The company plans to build 95% of its rocket using the world’s biggest 3D printers, and could launch as early as next year. Co-founder and CEO Tim Ellis will be on hand at TC Sessions: Space in Los Angeles on June 25 to talk all about it.

Relativity has been on our radar for a couple of years now, and to be honest we were all a bit skeptical when the proposition of 3D-printing a rocket was revealed. After all, additive manufacturing is known for its speed, not the strength or detail of its products. But our recent visit to the company’s bustling headquarters near LAX was an eye-opening one.

Relativity Space could change the economics of private space launches

The challenges of this approach to rocketry are substantial, but the team has gone into it with their eyes open, and the results are hard to argue with. Less mass, more strength, faster turnaround — and any drawbacks have been quantified and mitigated over countless tests and analyses.

Although the resulting components are in a way mechanically simpler than hand-assembled alternatives, the process of creating them is by no means simple itself. Ellis has been there for everything from the first wonky prints during their Y Combinator days to the latest high-precision, large-format ones going through live testing. He’ll be onstage at TC Sessions: Space on June 25, sharing insights on the startup journey, technical details and plans for the company’s future.

You can get early-bird tickets right now, and save $150 before prices go up on May 22 — and you can even bring a fifth person for free if you bring a group of four from your company. Special discounts for current members of the government/military/nonprofit and students are also available directly on the website. And if you are an early-stage space startup looking to get exposure to decision makers, you can even exhibit for the day for just $2,000.

This event will also feature a space startup pitch-off featuring five early-stage founders selected by TechCrunch editors. Applications open today; apply here.

Is your company interested in partnering at TC Sessions: Space 2020? Click here to talk with us about available opportunities.

Source: TechCrunch

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