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We’ve reported before on 3D printing technology being used to make parts for satellites and other spacecraft, and this trend looks set to continue in the future, with Thales Alenia Space being one of the major companies leading the way.
The company, which is a joint venture between Thales and Leonardo, first began taking advantage of 3D printing back in April 2015. Its TurkMenAlem MonacoSat satellite was launched with a 3D printed aluminum antenna support, and since then every satellite it sends into orbit has a similarly lightweight 3D printed antenna support, as well as 3D printed reflector fittings.
Koreasat - Telecommunication - Satellites - Spacecraft - Parts
The Koreasat 5A and 7 telecommunication satellites, orbited in 2017, featured the largest 3D-printed spacecraft parts ever made in Europe at the time. Today, Thales Alenia Space is taking 3D printing into series production to make components for telecom satellites built on the company’s new all-electric Spacebus Neo platform.
Spacebus Neo will feature four reaction wheel brackets made of aluminum and 16 antenna deployment and pointing mechanism (ADPM) brackets: four in aluminum and 12 in titanium. The innovative 3D-printed reaction wheel bracket is designed to meet market demand for lower costs, now reduced by about 10%, and shorter lead times, with production schedules cut by one to two months. The new part is also 30% lighter and offers improved performance.
Metal - Fusion - Technique - Parts - Series
The metal powder-bed fusion technique used for these parts allows series production with a high...
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