Placeholder Image

Subtitles section Play video

  • Okay, so one of the most interesting kind of weirdest

  • work from home stories has to be this company called,

  • Relativity Space.

  • They are a rocket startup in Southern California,

  • just outside of downtown Los Angeles.

  • They are actually trying to 3D print an entire rocket

  • using these giant machines

  • that are sort of Westworld-like.

  • In the midst of this pandemic

  • and the work from home situation,

  • their technology actually looks like an advantage,

  • a major advantage in that they've been able

  • to keep running these robots autonomously,

  • just having one person go by the factory

  • every now and again, to keep the robots fed.

  • To explain how all this works and the company's vision,

  • We're gonna talk to Tim Ellis,

  • who is the co founder and CEO of Relativity.

  • I obviously, I cover the space industry really close,

  • and it's this very exciting time.

  • Space X just had a historic launch.

  • And then there's this flood of other rocket startups

  • that are coming.

  • And I've been following you guys for a while,

  • but you guys are a little bit different

  • than the other rocket startups.

  • Can you sort of explain what Relativity does.

  • I founded Relativity back at the beginning of 2016.

  • And my co founder was actually working at Space X

  • on the Crew Dragon Program.

  • I was at Blue Origin.

  • The problem we saw in the industry is that

  • really for the last 60 years, no one's actually changed

  • how rockets are manufactured.

  • There's re-usability.

  • there's other rocket technologies,

  • which are new and very disruptive,

  • but we really felt 3D printing a whole rocket

  • was gonna be the next big disruption in the industry.

  • If you go somewhere even like Space X,

  • which is a super modern aerospace company,

  • they do 3D print some stuff.

  • It is particularly around the engines,

  • but a lot of stuff is done by hand.

  • Yes, that's right.

  • Other companies we've seen are probably

  • in the single digits,

  • maybe as low as 0.1% of the rocket

  • is actually 3D printed by mass.

  • We're actually targeting printing 95% of our rocket,

  • so almost everything other than the electronics.

  • We're targeting, not just printing 95% of the rocket,

  • but doing it from raw material to a finished rocket,

  • in the factory in only 60 days.

  • And that compares to about two years

  • in a traditional factory.

  • The 3D printers that we ended up developing

  • entirely in house use a big robots

  • that come from industrial car automation

  • or other sort of industrial automation.

  • And then we've actually had to write our own software.

  • And then all of the control algorithms

  • to basically, wherever the robot moves around,

  • we have a metal wire that gets fed in,

  • and then we actually use plasma to melt the wire,

  • and then that solidifies.

  • And so essentially now we can code the robots

  • using pretty sophisticated controls.

  • Wherever the robot moves around,

  • we can actually print our fuel tank.

  • And it's very, very fast.

  • As far as like why somebody hasn't done this before.

  • I remember when you guys got started.

  • I think even still today, maybe it's fair to say,

  • I mean, there's people who are skeptical of this approach.

  • Obviously there's rockets there.

  • It's a controlled explosion.

  • Can you 3D print something that's stable enough?

  • We've actually already produced a full scale,

  • second stage structure with the common dome

  • and done proof testing to show that it can hold the pressure

  • and stresses of flight.

  • Then we've done something like 300 engine tests

  • to date, all 3D printed.

  • So we're actually proving the tech works.

  • During the pandemic,

  • I know a lot of the aerospace companies

  • were able to stay relatively open

  • if they were doing sort of stuff that had

  • like a national security kind of implication

  • or national interest.

  • What was it like for you guys?

  • Have you been able to have employees in the factory?

  • We actually took a pretty proactive approach

  • to the pandemic, so around March 6th to March 9th,

  • we actually started making everyone go home

  • and work from home.

  • So people unplugged their desktop.

  • So we're actually a very cloud forward company

  • in our architecture,

  • which lets us operate the 3D printers remotely anyway.

  • So we were actually very well prepped for that,

  • prioritizing the health and safety of our employees.

  • We are deemed essential business,

  • but we actually never had to have more than one person

  • in the factory at a time to keep printing.

  • And we've also seen a very minimal supply chain disruptions,

  • because we have extremely few suppliers.

  • There's really just not that many processes that we need

  • to build a rocket since we're printing everything.

  • We have very few raw materials.

  • It's actually only three raw metals for the entire rocket.

  • It's so, so Elan's long stated goal is

  • to eventually create a human colony on Mars,

  • and I know you have Mars aspirations as well.

  • I mean reflected on why Jordan

  • and I had started the company.

  • We had this core theory that Space X was going to Mars.

  • I'm actually super confident that they're going to,

  • and I'm really inspired by that.

  • But every animation I saw had the astronauts fly there

  • and then they would land,

  • and then the ladder would roll down,

  • and then it would fade to black.

  • And that became this thing that stuck in my mind that,

  • "Man there need to be dozens to hundreds

  • "of companies working on different pieces

  • "of the puzzle of going to Mars."

  • And so that's where we came up with our vision as a company,

  • which is to 3D print the first rocket made on Mars.

  • I'm sure rocket's not the first thing we're gonna make.

  • We're probably gonna make water storage tanks,

  • habitat vessels, spare parts,

  • other things that just help early settlements get going.

  • How old are you now?

  • I just turned 30--

  • Just turned 30--

  • A few weeks ago, yup.

  • And so what age do you expect to be

  • when you 3D print your first water storage tank on Mars?

  • Yeah, honestly, I think it's actually gonna happen faster

  • than some of the human space flight can.

  • So I think it could actually happen

  • within a decade, honestly.

  • My life philosophy has been

  • if the future's not really happening fast enough,

  • well, why don't we just create it?

  • We could actually be that company that makes this happen.

Okay, so one of the most interesting kind of weirdest

Subtitles and vocabulary

Operation of videos Adjust the video here to display the subtitles

B1 US rocket printing relativity print factory space

The SpaceX Competitor is Printing Its Rockets

  • 5 1
    joey joey posted on 2021/05/17
Video vocabulary