According to a press release released by the ConceptLaser company, its counterparts, Thales Alenia Space y Poly-Shape have been the authors of a milestone so far never before achieved for 3D printing such as manufacturing, through the LaserCusing technologyNothing less than the largest piece of metal used to date in an artificial satellite that will be put into geostationary orbit in just a few weeks.
Little by little we are seeing how the aerospace industry is one of the ones that is receiving the greatest push from 3D printing. To understand this, it is necessary to take into account the great needs of highly specialized parts that are difficult to manufacture using much more traditional methods. Returning to the milestone achieved by Thales Alenia Space and Poly-Shape, tell you that these large pieces of metal manufactured by 3D printing will be installed on Korean communications satellites Koreasat-5A y Koreasat 7.
Thales Alenia Space and Poly-Shape join forces to develop printed metal parts
Going into a little more detail, according to the aforementioned press release, apparently this piece is a support for the antenna whose dimensions are of 447 x 204 x 391 mm with a weight of 1,13 kilograms. The design of this great piece was carried out by the experts from Thales Alenia Space while the guys from Poly-Shape were in charge of its manufacture through 3D printing, for the manufacture of the two supports an industrial 3D printer was used, specifically the ConceptLaser.
According to declarations of Florence Montredon, Head of Additive Manufacturing at Thales Alenia Space:
Putting a kilogram of material into orbit costs around 20.000 euros, so every gram counts. The initially planned weight of these satellites is 3.500 kilograms, so the ability to create lightweight structures with additive manufacturing makes us lean towards these technologies to the detriment of other techniques considered as traditional.