When I think of the words "engine manifold" I think of these.

I saw this tweet by Elon Musk which shows the image below, and then there is a reply image with a checkerboard pattern behind part of the manifold.

Question: What are we looking at? Is this cooling metal, or is it still in the mold? What is that checkerboard pattern in the 2nd image? What part of the engine is this; what items does it connect?

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Reply tweet

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1 Answer 1


The accompanying text on Twitter:

SpaceX foundry casting Raptor engine manifold out of Inconel

So what you're seeing here is a rough casting.

Usually, metal is cast in a sand mold, and left in the mold until it's cooled off. The mold is a bunch of (special-formula) sand in a box, (usually rectangular).

In this case the mold has been removed while the casting is still glowing red.

The shape of the part is difficult to make out because there is a lot of excess material which will be milled off later.


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