SunFire engine’s cold flow test chamber

6 April 2021, by Samson Tulu

We present to you a close-up look at the SunFire engine’s cold flow test chamber rising out of its bed of Aluminium powder, housed inside its metal 3D printer. Printed from powdered Aluminium Alloy, the SunFire chamber is the largest single-piece object built at Sheffield Hallam University’s additive manufacturing facilities. 

The machine works by a process known as ‘Selective Laser Sintering’ – laying a very fine sheet of Aluminium powder, 30 microns thick (roughly half the thickness of an average strand of human hair!), and then using a powerful laser to melt the particles in the region of where the chamber should be.

It repeats this process thousands of times to build the engine, after it is raised from its finished position and the built-up unused powder is removed from around the chamber.

Follow us and stay tuned for more exciting content as we ramp up the testing phase of the SunFire program.