Metal Binder Jetting
Automotive Polymers

North Dakota’s OpenOrbiter Project Creates CubeSat Equipped With 3D Printed Experiment

Share this Article

The International Space Station

The International Space Station

As the global space industry continues to expand at a rapid rate, 3D printing technology has clearly become a vital production tool for the future of our otherworldly ventures. Whether it be 3D printed rocket thrusters being used to help us launch off the earth, or an actual 3D printing system on the International Space Station (ISS) to help our astronauts persevere in this vastly unknown and infinite environment, the emergence of this technology will undoubtedly continue to play a major role in the future of space exploration.

In countries across the world, from government agencies to university researchers, 3D printing technology is increasingly being utilized to produce satellites, namely cube satellites. Earlier this year, the Russia-based Tomsk Polytechnic University developed a 3D printed nanosatellite to send to the ISS, and is currently in the midst of its six-month journey in orbit. This coming December, a 3D printed CubeSat created by a team of researchers and students from the University of New South Wales will be among 50 satellites that will be launched into the thermosphere.

OpenSpaceLogo Now, the OpenOrbiter project team, which is a collaboration between hundreds of students and faculty from both the University of North Dakota (UND) and North Dakota State University (NDSU), has created a low-cost cube satellite to send experiments to the ISS. With the help of the local space technology service provider, which is called Open Space Frontier Technologies, they plan to launch their low-cost and compact-sized CubeSat, which will include a 3D printing experiment in the small payload, to the ISS. Open Space Frontier Technologies was started by the twin brother tandem Michael and Sean Wegerson, along with designer Alex Holland.

“We are going to be putting in a 3D printer inside the little payload right here to 3D print material straight out. Just to see a proof of concept, can we 3D print in space?” said Holland.

2

Open Space Frontier Technologies’ CubeSat

Open Space Frontier Technologies arose from the OpenOrbiter project at the University of North Dakota. The team created the initial CubeSat designs and is working on the 3D printed payload, which they plan to send to the ISS at the end of this December, and from there, it will be launched into orbit come January 2017. Not only is the student team aiming to successfully send a cube satellite into orbit, their primary goal is to accomplish such a feat at a much more affordable rate than the current industry permits. Although cube satellites generally cost upwards of $50,000, the team of UND and NDSU students were able to reduce that cost by producing everything in-house.

For instance, the satellite’s solar panels are assembled within a household toaster oven, while the body is created with a low-cost milling machine. If successful, the students’ mission could have a major impact on the space industry. By utilizing more affordable methods—such as 3D printing technology— to produce satellites, rocket parts, and other various space tools, innovative companies like Open Space Frontier Technologies are helping us gain better access, and thus better insight, into the infinite universe around us. Discuss further in the CubeSat with 3D Printer forum over at 3DPB.com. Discuss further in the CubeSat with 3D Printer forum over at 3DPB.com.

OS+Model

[Source: Kare 11]

 

Share this Article


Recent News

3D Printing Webinar and Event Roundup: August 14, 2022

3D Printing News Briefs, August 13, 2022: Natural Fibers, Robotic Gripper, & More



Categories

3D Design

3D Printed Art

3D Printed Food

3D Printed Guns


You May Also Like

3D Printing News Briefs, August 10, 2022: Events, Awards, & More

First up in today’s 3D Printing News Briefs is Formnext + PM South China, which returns to Shenzhen next month. Next, Lithoz won an award from Licensing Executive Society International....

Ganit Goldstein Uses Stratasys 3D Printing to Create Gorgeous GnoMon Fashion Collection

I’m always fascinated by MIT textile researcher and 3D designer Ganit Goldstein‘s work. Before completing her MA in Textiles at London’s Royal College of Art, she majored in fashion and...

3D Printed Space Habitat Now Open to Swiss Students to Live in

Our solar system has an incredible variety of worlds, and recent research has identified several off-Earth locations as potentially habitable for humans, like Mars, Europa, Enceladus, and the Moon. With...

Sakuu Opens Battery 3D Printing Facility in Silicon Valley

Silicon Valley startup Sakuu is using some of the funds from its total $62 million raised to open a new facility for its battery 3D printing platform. The multi-million-dollar site...