3D printing is enabling a new kind of space entrepreneurship (Authentise Weekly News-In-Review – #130)

3D printing is proving to be a transformational tool for the fresh players of the new space race. Iteration cycles for the aerospace industry are notoriously long: 3D printing enables the development of aerospace parts to be cut from months to just a few weeks. This is a boost for newcomers, shortening time to launch and enabling faster competitiveness in the global race. The rapid pace of technological change is forcing everyone to quickly adapt to new trends. These new companies are also the most pliable to changes to the supply chain, which will be stressed to accommodate new needs and technologies. It’s hard to predict future business opportunities, but new avenues of exploration are being researched through 3D printing. In-situ resource utilization is of great interest for any habitat, tool or even medical need future astronauts might have.

How additive manufacturing helped launch SpaceX

How additive manufacturing helped launch SpaceX

SpaceX has been using AM increasingly in its production to optimise processes and produce parts that aren’t possible with conventional manufacturing methods. SpaceX has been continuously evaluating the benefits of 3D printing and perfecting the techniques required to develop and manufacture flight hardware. With innovation and efficiency at the core of SpaceX, it’s no wonder its been one of the first companies in the sector to embrace AM as a major part of its production.

Read the full article at PES Media.

Supply chain expands to meet demand for 3D-printed space parts

It’s not clear whether the additive manufacturing supply chain will expand rapidly enough to meet growing demand for 3D-printed parts for spacecraft or launch vehicles. When companies are starting out, it’s easy for them to turn to additive manufacturing service providers for a few parts, said Scott Killian, aerospace business development manager for EOS North America.

“Once companies move into production, they’re going to have to figure out whether the supply chain can still meet their needs,” he added. “There’s a lot of ebb and flow right now on getting that supply chain to ramp up.”

Read more at Space News.

Scientists 3D-print human skin and bone for Mars astronauts

The European Space Agency’s 3D Printing of Living Tissue for Space Exploration project aims to print human tissue to help injured astronauts heal when they’re far, far away from Earth. Scientists from the University Hospital of Dresden Technical University in Germany bio-printed skin and bone samples upside down to help determine if the method could be used in a low-gravity environment. It worked. ESA released videos of the printing in action.

Read more at CNET.

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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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