Sidus Space, a leading provider of innovative satellite technology offering space-as-a-service, has recently introduced a revolutionary 3D printed satellite, which is being highlighted by Markforged. This innovative technology is set to revolutionise the satellite industry by offering unprecedented capabilities at a lower cost.
The satellite is made using a combination of metal and carbon fiber, providing high strength and rigidity, as well as thermal stability. This combination allows the satellite to withstand extreme temperature changes that can occur in space.
According to Markforged, they used their X7 printing system to print lighter yet stronger parts. To be launched in space aboard the SpaceX Transporter-9, the entire satellite has to weigh less than 100 kilograms. The biggest portion of the weight are the batteries, computer and its components. The key challenges were.
- The satellite needed to be strong enough to withstand launch and 5G load, and also handle solar radiation and temperature swings of up to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
- The material needed to be tested in space and be strong enough to withstand the harsh conditions, and showed no signs of degradation for the full duration of the satellite. (Markforged material was tested without any deformity for a year in space.)
3D Printed Satellite
The use of 3D printing technology has reduced the cost of manufacturing the satellite, making it more affordable to a wider range of customers. Furthermore, the manufacturing process is faster and more efficient, resulting in a shorter turnaround time.
The satellite’s innovative design also includes a one-of-a-kind propulsion system that allows it to manoeuvre in space with great precision. The satellite’s ability to adjust its position in real time enables this, making it highly versatile and adaptable.
The satellite is made of continuous carbon fibre, which has the same strength as aluminium but is easier to print and change the design of. The fastening features are intended to use as little material as possible while avoiding the use of screws, which add weight. Fastening feature tolerances are precise, with a difference of ten thousandths of an inch or less, which is less than paper-thin and can only be achieved using 3D printing technology.
“Markforged 3D printers initially played an important role in our successful External Flight Test Platform (EFTP) mission, an on-orbit external experimental facility that was hosted on the NanoRacks International Space Station External Platform (NREP). Building on the success of our EFTP program, we have continued to leverage Markforged solutions in the development of LizzieSat™.”– Carol Craig, Founder and CEO, Sidus Space
This game-changing technology is expected to have a significant impact on the satellite industry, making satellite solutions more affordable and efficient. This 3D-printed satellite demonstrates the tremendous potential of innovative technology in the aerospace industry.
Finally, Sidus Space’s groundbreaking 3D printed satellite is a game changer in the satellite industry. Because of its innovative design and use of 3D printing technology, it is a highly versatile and cost-effective solution for a wide range of applications. The aerospace industry is about to enter a new era of innovation and development as a result of this breakthrough.
About Sidus Space: Sidus Space, based in Cape Canaveral, Florida, is a 35,000-square-foot manufacturing, assembly, integration, and testing facility specialising in commercial satellite design, manufacture, launch, and data collection. The rich history of the company includes the design and manufacture of numerous flight and ground component parts and systems for a variety of space-related customers and programmes.
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