The European Space Agency says it has developed a technology that allows metal parts for spacecraft and nuclear reactors to be "printed" as a single piece.

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The European Space Agency says it has developed a technology that allows metal parts for spacecraft and nuclear reactors to be “printed” as a single piece.

In recent years three-dimensional printing has become commonplace in manufacturing. But so far this method has largely been limited to making plastic objects.

ESA says its metal-printing technology can be used to create more complex shapes than with traditional techniques and leaves almost no waste material.

The Paris-based space agency presented several sample objects capable of withstanding temperatures of up to 1,000 degrees Celsius (1,832 Fahrenheit) at an event in London on Tuesday.

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It aims to make the parts even more durable in the coming years.

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