Space, the final frontier will need 3D printing to make it happen (Authentise Weekly News-In-Review – Week 83)

The space industry finds itself in the sweet spot of many advanced technologies, hoping to improve mission success by looking at its problems from all sides. 3D printing has already proved to be a powerful tool for these purposes, with its fast iterative cycles and outside-the-box manufacturing paradigm. What Airbus has been doing for its airplanes, Lockheed Martin is pushing beyond with 3D printed parts that can reach sizes just under 4ft, halving production time, costs and reducing weight. Still, it will be extremely expensive to launch humans to Mars or even the Moon in the near future. For that, we’ll have to rely on robots (with much lower maintenance requirements). By sending autonomous robots to another planet, they can be tasked to 3D print sustainable habitats for us in-situ, by sourcing local materials. Empowered by the digital thread, the designs for these habs can be experimented upon and reiterated, and contests are being created periodically to further improve those that, in a not too distant tomorrow, we could call homes.

 

Lockheed Martin 3D printed an impressive titanium dome for satellite fuel tanks

Lockheed Martin has just taken 3D printing to new heights, printing an enormous titanium dome meant for satellite fuel tanks. It’s the largest space part the company has 3D printed to date and measures 46inch  in diameter — just under 4ft.

“Our largest 3D printed parts to date show we’re committed to a future where we produce satellites twice as fast and at half the cost,” said Rick Ambrose, Lockheed Martin Space executive vice president. “And we’re pushing forward for even better results. For example, we shaved off 87% of the schedule to build the domes, reducing the total delivery timeline from two years to three months.”

Read the full article on Digital Trends.

 

Here’s What We Know About The Robots That Might Build Our First Homes on the Moon

Rovers may soon traverse the surface of the Moon yet again. This time, though, they’ll have one noble mission: to build shelter the first human colonizers will inhabit. A team of Japanese scientists is working to make this a reality. They started a company called ispace with the intention of launching a private space mission to the Moon. ispace envisions an entire colony, called “Moon Valley”, constructed not by human astronauts, but by robots instead. And they want to get started on it soon: the team is planning its first mission for late 2019, and a second in 2020.

Read the full article on Futurism.

 

NASA announces winners of competition to design 3D-printed habitat for Mars

NASA announces winners of competition to design 3D-printed habitat for Mars

NASA has selected the five winning designs in the latest stage of its 3D-printed Habitat competition, which include a community of modular pods made from the Martian surface, and a vertical egg-like container. The On-Site Habitat Competition invited groups to design a sustainable shelter for a crew of four astronauts on a mission to Mars, using construction techniques enabled by 3D printing technology.

Read the rest here.

 

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Week in Review: November 1st to 7th – Performance through Innovation

Hello everyone, here we go with another Week in Review.

This week we had a clear view at what AM can provide in terms of performance. Through new technologies and collaborations, we are seeing a future in which certain tasks simply couldn’t be accomplished in any other way. GE is testing a prototype engine with 35% AM parts, from 855 to just 12 with improved performance, Lockheed Martin explains how the company incorporated 3D printing to become world’s largest defense contractor and a collaboration between SSL and TUI will see a demonstration of kilometric structures in space through AM satellites. Additive solutions are driving performance parts in every industry:

GE unveils 35% 3D printed ATP engine: ‘more additive parts than any engine in aviation history’

General Electric (GE) has tested a demonstrator engine with 35% additive manufactured parts. The engine was made to validate 3D printed parts for the clean-sheet design Advanced Turboprop (ATP) engine … The all-new lightweight components for the ATP will contribute to a 5% weight reduction, as well as a 1% improvement in specific fuel consumption (SFC). 855 subtractive manufactured parts will be reduced to 12 additive parts, with those 12 making up 35% of the total part count.

Read more here.

Lockheed Martin Looks to Catch Up in 3D Printing

Lockheed Martin is making titanium propellant tanks for satellites using a Chicago company’s electron beam additive manufacturing technology.

Robert Ghobrial, additive manufacturing lead for the company’s training and simulation location in Orlando, FL, spoke at SME’s “Additive Manufacturing Applications: Innovations for Growth” seminar in October, at advanced energy technology accelerator NextEnergy, in Detroit. He traced his work with 3D printing back to 2012, when his team received some MakerBot printers that largely went unused. Along the way, Ghobrial coined the phrase, “The 5Ps of Additive Manufacturing™,” a manufacturing model that describes how AM can help aerospace, defense and other businesses.

Read more about it at Advanced Manufacturing.

“Trusselator” puts additive manufacturing into orbit

Tethers Unlimited Inc’s (TUI) Firmamentum division have announced a collaboration with Space Systems Loral (SSL) that will allow them to demonstrate their on-orbit manufacturing technology, specifically for building kilometer scale space systems. According to TUI, the primary benefit of this on-orbit fabrication is the improved packing efficiency and system mass, which basically means that [companies] can save trips to space by launching highly concentrated fabrication material instead of built on earth structures that have to be deployed in space.

Read more about the collaboration here.

 

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