Chennai-based Agnikul on Tuesday announced that it had successfully test-fired its 3D-printed engine. The test was conducted with the support of IN-SPACe and ISRO.
Called Agnilet, the spacetech startup tested the single piece 3D-printed engine at Vertical Test Facility, Thumba Equatorial Rocket Launching Station (TERLS), at Vikram Sarabhai Space Center (VSSC), Thiruvananthapuram.
The startup recently announced that the Government of India awarded them the patent for the design and manufacturing of their single-piece rocket engines. Agnilet is one such single piece engine. It also is the world's first single-piece 3D-printed rocket engine fully designed and manufactured in India.
This new test at TERLS has validated the design and manufacturing methodology followed by the startup. Also, this is a major milestone for 3D printing technology in India.
In a statement, Srinath Ravichandran, co-founder and CEO at Agnikul said, “This is an unforgettable moment for all of us here at Agnikul. Besides validating our in-house technology, this is also a huge step in understanding how to design, develop and fire rocket engines at a professional level. We are incredibly thankful to IN-SPACe and ISRO for making this happen. Also grateful to the Indian Government for having made such efforts possible by the creation of IN-SPACe.”
Agnikul had recently announced the inauguration of its Rocket Factory- 1, which is India’s first-ever rocket facility dedicated to 3D print such rocket engines at scale situated at the IIT Madras Research Park.
The new state-of-the-art production house houses world-class machinery, including a 400mm x 400mm x 400mm metal 3D-printer from EOS, and a host of other machines that will enable end-to-end manufacturing of a rocket engine under one roof.
Agnikul has raised total funding of Rs 105 crore (USD 15 million) from Mayfield India, pi Ventures, Speciale Invest and a host of others including prominent angels such as Anand Mahindra and Naval Ravikant since 2019.