Compared to conventional processes, Additive Manufacturing (3D Printing) offers a host of benefits - producing metal or plastic components that are lighter, take less time to manufacture and are ultimately cheaper to produce. Weight reduction is a decisive factor in the space industry, since the lighter a satellite is, the less it costs to send it into space.
RUAG can operate as a “one stop shop” and provide customers a 3D printed part based on their requirements. Offering only the (re-)engineering support is another way of working with RUAG, after the engineering phase the customer prints the part at any location in the world saving also the time and cost of transportation.
3D Printing boosts competitiveness
RUAG Space is a pioneer in offering Additive Manufacturing (AM or 3D Printing) solutions to space customers and has built its reputation in the industry. The customer profits from a quicker and more cost-efficiently production with still high quality standards. Furthermore, RUAG Space can offer a high flexibility in 3D Printing, because design changes due to new requirements can be applied until the very last moment.
Since 2014 RUAG Space has developed components based on Additive Manufacturing technology and can offer its customers fully reliable products that are qualified for space. The SSTL Carbonite-2 satellite launched in mid-January 2018 carried embedded inserts in one of its panels and a support bracket for its star tracker camera, both produced by additive manufacturing. 2019 a component of RUAG based on 3D Printing is planned to land on the moon: the Israeli company SpaceIL will use an aluminium structure developed by RUAG for its main engine.
SUCCESS STORY: Additive Manufacturing
RUAG Space is a pioneer in bringing Additive Manufacturing (AM or “3D Printing”) into space industry.
Building on an extensive history in research and development and using employing an innovative end-to-end development and manufacturing approach, RUAG was able to realize several well-acknowledged, trailblazing Additive Manufacturing projects for the institutional and commercial space market as well as for non-space applications.
Redesign of Antenna bracket
One example is the redesign of the Sentinel 1 Upper S-Band Antenna bracket which was developed by RUAG Additive Manufacturing experts in close collaboration with the European Space Agency (ESA) and the respective customer. These pioneer projects enabled RUAG to realize several projects for the institutional and commercial space market as well as for non-space applications.
Shorter lead times, high flexibility
Compared to conventional processes, Additive Manufacturing or 3D Printing offers a host of benefits on programmatic and performance aspects. Shorter lead times can be achieved due to high flexibility without long procurement times of raw material. Cost reductions are achievable especially for more complex parts. Through functional integration, the number of parts in an assembly can drastically be reduced. The mechanical performance can be highly customized for the intended use of the part which allows the development of light-weight components that are able to withstand prevailing loads.