Airbus and 3D Systems collaborate on reconfigurable satellite

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3D Systems, leading additive manufacturing solutions partner, has announced the company has been selected by Airbus Defence and Space to produce critical components for its industry-first satellite innovation, OneSat.

3D Systems’ Application Innovation Group (AIG) has designed an additive manufacturing solution, comprising materials, 3D printing technology, software and applications expertise to produce the components required for the large antenna array on these satellites.

Additively manufacturing these components offers design freedom to enable weight reduction, part performance optimization, and faster time to market which aids in more rapid deployment of these unique satellites to meet end-users’ needs. 

3D Systems was selected for this project based on the part quality achievable with its DMP systems, as well as its demonstrated expertise and performance working with Airbus Defence and Space over the past seven years.

Each OneSat satellite requires two large antenna arrays, one to transmit signals and one to receive. 3D Systems’ DMP Factory 500 Solution will be employed for serial production of the antennae components using LaserForm AlSi10Mg and specific parameters developed by the AIG for this application to achieve the required 30µm layer thickness. The DMP Factory 500 also includes 3DXpert which supports every step of the additive manufacturing workflow from design to post-processing, to transition from a 3D model quickly and efficiently to successfully printed parts.

Also acting as project manager, 3D Systems’ AIG has identified subcontractors that are conducting post-processing and quality inspection, thus delivering a comprehensive end-to-end solution designed to help Airbus Defence and Space mitigate risk and reduce time to market.

“We value our long-standing partnership with Airbus Defence and Space and are pleased with how our collective work continues to make its mark in telecommunications satellites” said Dr, Michael Shepard, Vice President, aerospace & defence segment, 3D Systems.