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: September 27th to 3rd October – Production Ready AM

Here we are, another week gone by and there’s lots to talk about in the additive manufacturing world.

There have been many news this week indicating an ever diversifying world of AM and much of them hint at the technology’s present capacity for production-ready manufacturing. A volkswagen collaborator has succesfully replicated through AM a full automobile cylinder block, the core of the engine, Elon Musk announced a very ambitious Mars colonization plan, powered by 3D printed components and now Jabil Circuit Inc. has announced plans to enhance their manufacturing services through AM.

Much to discuss this week, let’s get to it.

 

Robert Hofmann GmbH 3D Prints Production-Ready Cylinder Block for Volkswagen Automobile

zylinderblock

Germany-based automotive company Robert Hofmann GmbH has utilized 3D printing technology to create a fully functional cylinder block for a Volkswagen motor. The block received metallurgic and geometric tests from Volkswagen engineers, who used a computer tomography to check internal geometries, such as the cooling jacket around the cylinder tubes. These tests showed that the 3D printed component had low porosity and smaller distortions and deviations compared to the cast iron part.

Read the full article here.

 

Elon Musk Shows How 3D Printing Powers Mission to Colonize Mars

Inside the Carbon Fiber Fuel Tanks

3D printing is at the core of Elon Musk’s ambitious plan to transport more than a million people to Mars during the next forty to one hundred years. Musk has previously discussed how SpaceX use 3D printing to manufacture their Draco engines. Made from Titanium and Inconel, 3D printing allows SpaceX to significantly reduce the cost of fabrication. Integrated cooling channels in the walls of the rocket engine chamber can be created using 3D printing, a process that would be, “a real pain” using traditional methods.

Learn more about AM role in this at 3DPrintingIndustry.

 

Jabil Circuit, Inc. Offers New Services, Including 3D Printing, Offering Competitive Edge for Clients

jabil_fullcolorlogo-jpg

 

 

Jabil Circuit Inc. has just announced that they will be enhancing their manufacturing services with Innovation Acceleration Services. As the name would suggest, they are speeding up the process of product development and the path to commercialization.  “We’re developing a complete ecosystem of digital connections to create new business opportunities, improve experiences and deliver added value, from start to finish.” -Bill Muir, COO at Jabil.

Read more about it here.

 

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