Case Study: Creating a Nano-Satellite with Additive Manufacturing

By Mike Ball / 30 Nov 2017
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Launch of CRP USA TuPOD satellite from ISS

Image courtesy of (C) JAXA NASA

CRP USA, a developer of 3D-printing and additive manufacturing technologies, has issued a case study detailing the construction of a fully 3D-printed small satellite which was launched from the International Space Station (ISS).

The case study explains how the cylindrical TuPOD, which was itself also a launching platform for smaller satellites, was manufactured from CRP Technology’s proprietary carbon fiber reinforced composite 3D printing material Windform XT 2.0.

Integration of the TubeSats into the TuPOD by the GAUSS team in Rome-LOW

Integration of the TubeSats into the TuPOD

The following challenges had to be overcome during the manufacturing process:

  • Creating an entirely new launch mechanism for cylindrical satellites that was compatible with the ISS
  • Addressing the complexity of wiring between electronic circuit boards
  • Selecting a material that could meet the rigid mechanical properties required to fulfil the design constraints as well as survive the extreme environments of space

The TuPOD successfully deployed from the ISS and released its payload into orbit, showing that Windform XT 2.0, originally developed for the motorsports industry, can be successfully used in unmanned space exploration applications.

Read the full case study to find out more.

Posted by Mike Ball Mike Ball is our resident technical editor here at Unmanned Systems Technology. Combining his passion for teaching, advanced engineering and all things unmanned, Mike keeps a watchful eye over everything related to the unmanned technical sector. With over 10 years’ experience in the unmanned field and a degree in engineering, Mike’s been heading up our technical team here for the last 8 years. Connect & Contact