2017 is already looking like a busy year for 3D printing. The innovative use of Additive Manufacturing has shown in the last few years that this type of technique will allow for fast adaptability and freedom of design. Aerospace industry is increasingly relying on 3D-printing to build prototypes, produce actual components, or make complex geometric forms. The construction of RAMPART satellite is a good example: RAMPART is a 2U CubeSat consisting of an upper BUS module, Lower Propulsion Module and Solar Panels. Its construction involved CRP USA and Windform materials. Working with the idea of utilizing additive manufacturing as a core principle, the team was able to modify, change, and add experiments without concern for having to develop tooling or modify an existing cube structure.
The development of RAMPART shows that this type of building technique adds value for standardized CubeSat boards as well as for devices that do not fit easily “in to the box”. As electronics and sensor systems become smaller and more complex, there is a push for developing more complex and advanced CubeSats. In the development of greater complexity, Additive Manufacturing opens the possibility to adapt the structure to carry new sensors, or optics. Utilizing CAD and additive manufacturing, the internal structure of the CubeSat can be built to adapt to the components, instead of the other way around. This allows the use of the CAD system to adapt to new technology as it is introduced. This eliminates the concern for legacy systems that are being held on the shelf, for technology that is becoming obsolete.
CRP USA is located in Mooresville, North Carolina, and works alongside key space industry leaders to create cutting edge solutions for the space industry manufactured in the Windform family of materials: the use of Windform composite materials, originally developed for the motorsports industry, is now finding many uses in space exploration.
Windform materials are used extensively in high-performing sectors due to their mechanical properties, and CRP USA is the ideal technological partner for utilizing Windform and Additive Manufacturing.
Windform Space Application – KySat 2
Video of Windform Space Application – KySat 2
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