Space Carbon Fiber 3D Printing Technology on the Horizon for Anisoprint and Nanoracks – 3DPrint.com
A new deal between carbon fiber 3D printing startup Anisoprint and Nanoracks – the company behind the world’s first free-flying commercial space station due to open in 2027 – could help draft the first sheet. route for the deployment of 3D printing in space. According to the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), Anisoprint, in collaboration with Nanoracks’ Space Outpost Europe program, will aim to develop a weightless composite manufacturing system.
For this task, the duo will work to demonstrate and validate the capabilities of Anisoprint’s continuous fiber coextrusion (CFC) 3D printing technology in orbit. The brand’s exclusive scientific version of continuous fiber 3D printing, called CFC, uses two inputs, one for reinforcing fiber and one for thermoplastic feed, and one output, to create optimized structures in composite materials .
As part of the deal, Nanoracks will also enhance Anisoprint’s role as a space technology developer and help it become part of the low Earth orbit (LEO) and lunar economy.
Private space companies strive to build infrastructure in space. As a new decade of space infrastructure has begun, companies like Nanoracks want to make sure they have the technologies that will serve this purpose. But creating a vibrant LEO economy must build on the work done to date by the International Space Station (ISS), and Nanoracks has provided a wide range of services to the station in orbit since 2009, including more than 1 300 research payloads and small satellites.
Since the company is also engaged in the development of orbital infrastructure, it says it will soon own and operate its own commercial space stations, including the highly anticipated Starlab commercial crewed orbital platform and several outposts ( which will be repurposed from space waste transformed into agile and autonomous space platforms). But opening the doors to new business ventures never seen before in space means that Nanoracks must partner with other innovative companies to lead the way in this new space race. For example, with Anisoprint, Nanoracks has the ability to leverage microgravity manufacturing.
“We are at the stage of formation of LEO and the lunar economy. There has been explosive growth in international commercial space activity. I am confident that we will achieve our goals and contribute a value chain to the economy. alien,” said Dmitrii Prokopiuk, Head of Space Development at Anisoprint in a post on LinkedIn. “Our cooperation with Nanorack Space Outpost Europe will give a strong impetus to the further development of our Earth 3D printing technology transfer project. to space for in-orbit servicing and manufacturing (IOSM) and further to the Moon for in-situ use. resource utilization (ISRU).
Just two months before signing the deal with Nanoracks, Anisoprint was one of five startups selected for the European Space Resources Innovation Center (ESRIC)’s first Global Startup Support Program (SSP) and started its pre-incubation in April 2022. space applications, the SSP, managed jointly with the European Space Agency (ESA), aims to support early-stage startups in the space resources sector, to develop their business models, to attract their first customers and secure their first investments.
The pre-incubation phase, which lasts three months, allowed Anisoprint to validate technical concepts to develop CFC 3D printing technology to build tools, components, repair parts and structural elements in composite materials in conditions of weightlessness and low gravity.
Since Anisoprint was selected for pre-incubation in ESRIC’s SSP to adapt continuous fiber 3D printing technology to microgravity conditions, the team has made great strides towards expanding the resource network. Moreover, the new agreement is described by Prokopiuk as the next step, deploying the technology in orbit with Nanoracks Space Outpost Europe to demonstrate and validate its operation.
The Luxembourg OEM says it supports the development, extraction and use of space resources. In fact, within the private space industry, many companies are building the logistical elements of manufacturing in space, and 3D printing should be the key to solving many of today’s challenges.
Since supplying spare parts and components from Earth is expensive and time-consuming, there is a need for space-based manufacturing technologies. While it won’t be easy to create the manufacturing facilities and materials that will accelerate space exploration, several promising technologies are driving interest in in-house production of parts and components.
According to Anisoprint and Nanoracks, 3D printing would minimize delivery costs and shape limitations while reducing the number of delivery missions. Additionally, Anisoprint states that its patented CFC technology creates zero waste, which is environmentally efficient and does not increase the amount of space debris. Additionally, it is a fully automated form of manufacturing that does not require manual labor.
Veronica La Regina, Business Development Manager at Nanoracks Europe, points out that “with our plans to develop orbital stations and other space facilities to best meet market needs, it is becoming increasingly crucial the role of these innovative technologies. manufacturing machines in orbit. We look forward to discovering the CFC 3D printing capabilities of our portfolio.
Anisoprint says it is looking forward to starting work on the R&D team roadmap for the company and that Luxembourg is providing essential support to design unique and innovative solutions that meet the needs of the space sector and secure the future orbital economy.
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