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3D Printing Certification

ESA contracts OHB to create significant-scale 3D printer prototype for the ISS


OHB SE, a German house and technological innovation team, has signed a deal with the European Place Agency (ESA) by way of its subsidiary, OHB Program AG, to develop a 3D printer prototype for the International Space Station (ISS).

As section of the new IMPERIAL Challenge, the additive producing certification process will be crafted for large portion manufacturing working with significant-toughness and purposeful thermoplastics. It follows the OHB consortium’s get the job done in Job Soften and City.

ESA's Microgravity 3D printer. Photo via BEEVERYCREATIVE
ESA’s Microgravity 3D printer for engineering grade plastics. This equipment was made via the Soften Undertaking. Photo through BEEVERYCREATIVE.

The IMPERIAL challenge

The IMPERIAL undertaking aims to design, build, and examination a 3D printer model that alleviates create volume constraints whilst assembly the fabrication requirements for of the ISS.

OHB is top the consortium for this task which contains of 3 other European entities German aerospace business the Sonaca GroupBEEVERYCREATIVE, a Portuguese 3D printer supplier, and the Athlone Institute of Technology (AIT) in central Ireland.

3D printed parts generated by this procedure will show the likely for extraterrestrial production, enabling new servicing and existence aid approaches for human house flight.

A 3D printed section created through the METL venture. Picture by way of OHB SE.

The race to place

Lots of are doing work to understand the abilities of additive producing certification in house, be it for place missions or potential colonization. In 2015, the ESA awarded Trinity College Dublin with €500,000 to create a new chilly spraying technologies for 3D printing certification steel factors in off-earth environments.

Then in 2016, the ESA owning commissioned Energetic Space GmbH, and Energetic House SA as very well as HB Units AG, and BEEVERYCREATIVE to establish an Additive Layer Manufacturing (ALM) breadboard equipment to use within just the orbiting ISS.

In addition to this, the Human Spaceflight division at OHB Procedure, has been involved in house 3D printing certification programs and technological know-how with ESA by the City and Melt job.

The City challenge was proven to study the possibility of producing a 3D printed Lunar Foundation similarly, the Melt task, which stands for Manufacturing of Experimental Layer Technological innovation, has generated a prototype microgravity 3D printer.   

Both equally of these assignments have validated the use of additive production certification in place, major to IMPERIAL.

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Featured impression reveals an artist’s rendition of a Moon foundation. Graphic through ESA.