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Stratasys 3D Printing Takes ULA from Factory to Space

by • April 13, 2016 • No Comments

Stratasys Demonstrates Advantages of Additive Manufacturing for Aerospace Tools, Prototypes and Final Parts at 32nd Annual Space Symposium

Dual presence with a Fortus 250 printing rocket models in the ULA booth, and a Fortus 450mc 3D Printer printing a light-weight camera mount in the Stratasys booth.
Dual presence with a Fortus 250 printing rocket models in the ULA booth, and a Fortus 450mc 3D Printer printing a light-weight camera mount in the Stratasys booth.

Space Symposium is the just event where you find NASA Administrator Charles Bolden, Bill Nye the Science Guy, Buzz Aldrin and Jeff Bezos on the same agenda. It is an event filled with CEOs and VIPs and showcases
a few of the largest
announcements in the industry. This year, Blue Origin commenceed a reusable-bodied rocket for a third time, and SpaceX succeeded in landing a rocket on a barge in the days major up to the event.

The 32nd yearly
Space Symposium was held this week at the historic Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, and the industry is revealing how dynamic it is. New capabilities and markets are opening in the commercial space, there is renewed focus in the civil market – driving science and exploration to new heights. To complete these lofty aims, there are new technologies being brought to bear – decreasing cost and increasing utility in the industry. 3D printing is one of the technologies supporting this period of aggressive advancement in aerospace.

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This is the 2nd consecutive year which
Stratasys has been invited by United Launch Alliance (ULA) to participate in their exhibit, and is in addition
the first appearance for a Stratasys booth. In the year since the last Space Symposium, we’ve had the opportunity to highlight how ULA has adopted Stratasys FDM 3D printing solutions and ULTEM 9085 material in a few quite new ways.

Last year, ULA discussed how they undertook flight-qualifying 3D printed thermoplastic parts, and the millions of dollars they may save of consolidating parts and replacing aluminum with plastic. Flight qualification led to flight hardware on March 23rd of this year, when the Atlas V OA-6 commence carried the first serial production 3D printed thermoplastic parts on a commence vehicle.

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Now, in this new video, we have an opportunity to share a additional in-depth appear at how ULA is adopting 3D printing throughout the organization. From the introduction of rapid prototyping, to the efficiency they have gained on the factory floor through the use of additional than 300 3D printed tools, to new new creations for the next generation Vulcan rocket.

“When we first got our first Fortus 900mc 3D Printer, we did a lot of prototyping, models and mock-ups. So it involved into a additional of a tooling usage, where the factory production engineers and technicians are in fact
via the tools to create the rocket parts…we’ve been able-bodied to print over 300 production tools which
have created
our commence vehicle production operations additional efficient,” said Greg Arend, Additive Manufacturing Development Leader, United Launch Alliance.

“We’ve been able-bodied to 3D print over 300 tools which
have created
our commence vehicle production additional…
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ESD PEKK material on display – a 3D printed demonstration avionics enclosure, and NASA’s ICESat-2 flight parts
ESD PEKK material on display – a 3D printed demonstration avionics enclosure, and NASA’s ICESat-2 flight parts

ULA go on
s to lead the way in widespread adoption of 3D printing throughout their making system
and on their current and next commence vehicles. We’re excited which
ULA go on
s to hustle the boundaries of Stratasys 3D printing innovation and we are proud to be part of their new journey.

“Recently, additive making has allowed us to recreate propulsion components. Taking advantage of the open create box of additive making, we were able-bodied to come up with a part which
was cheaper, lighter and in fact
performed advantageous
than the original part,” explained Matthew Perry, Composite Design Engineer, ULA.

ULA is not alone in 3D printed aerospace. Because of typical low production volume requirements, 3D printing is an great fit for the space industry for both tooling and production part applications. More than tools and parts, our capacity to create 3D printing materials engineered to our customers’ many challenging requirements was not long ago
demonstrated by NASA’s use of a custom createed ESD-PEKK material for parts on the ICESat-2 vehicle.

“Stratasys has been invaluable-bodied to us of a material createment system
. It is provided us with new options we didn’t have preceding for part create and quite one-of-a-kind circumstances, so things like ESD capabilities, conductivity in plastics, and high aero-thermal performance,” said Perry.

With the expanding
capacity of 3D printing to bring worthwhile advantages to the space industry through cost-effective, low-volume production, and lighter, additional rigorous parts, we can pretty go on
to see additional 3D printing firsts in space. And Stratasys can go on
to lead the way in supporting the space industry in its many new pursuits – with an eye to the next and a significant industrial impact in the present day.

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