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Additive Manufacturing

COSMIAC has a rich and robust history in the field of additive manufacturing, more commonly known as 3D printing. Over the past five years, COSMIAC has been funded to perform extensive research by the Air Force Research Laboratory, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute. These organizations have funded COSMIAC to perform research in the following areas:

  • Materials Testing
  • Radiation Testing
  • Thermal Management
  • Workforce Development
  • RF Systems

Flying the Raspberry Pi and the Beaglebone Black into Orbit from Alasdair Allan on Vimeo.

At COSMIAC, seven different printing machines provide for capabilities to print a wide range of materials with different precision levels. Recent work involved printing a 6U spacecraft to allow for fit checks and cable measurements to expedite satellite delivery. In addition to additive manufacturing, the COSMIAC team is also involved with rendering objects into different formats for printing, virtual (and augmented) reality.

COSMIAC's 3D printing efforts were featured in Makezine, at the 2015 SmallSat conference in Logan, Utah.

3D Printing at COSMIAC from COSMIAC on Vimeo.

Examples of COSMIAC's 3D printing

3d antenna
Above: 3D-printed circuit board flown on COSMIAC's Trailblazer satellite

3D plasma thruster
Above: 3D-printed pulsed plasma thruster

3D antenna
Above: 3D-printed antenna

3D antenna
Above: 3D-printed satellite panel