On October 13, 2022, at 2 pm ET/11 am PT, 3DPrint.com is hosting a webinar on the emergence of the private space industry. The presentation, titled “How Advanced Metal AM Can Provide the Space Industry with a Galaxy of Innovation,” will explore how space companies are taking advantage of the latest breakthroughs in additive manufacturing (AM). Attendees will hear from industry experts Ali Baghchehsara, Founder and President of space propulsion startup Plasmos, Velo3D’s Brent Hansen, an experienced metal additive manufacturing engineer, and 3DPrint.com Executive Editor and webinar moderator Joris Peels.
3D Printing Propels the New Space Industry
As an ally to many manufacturers in the space industry, Velo3D has helped create plenty of 3D printed parts that have gone on to fly in rockets, engines, and other space-bound craft. With the emergence of new companies in the last ten years, space has become a new area of expansion for AM.
Even though the currently estimated $350-billion private space economy is still primarily dominated by several large aerospace and satellite firms—mainly serving government-funded projects—thousands of space technology businesses are broadening the industry’s scope. For example, according to the “Additive Manufacturing For Space Industry Applications – From Earth To Orbit And Beyond: An Opportunity Analysis And Ten-year Forecast” from SmarTech Analysis, at least 180 launch vehicle developers and nearly 100 satellite manufacturers are already doing the most with additive technologies in their facilities or outsourcing part production to 3D service bureaus.
For space companies, weight reduction is a decisive factor in their work. So, as the competition for investment funds intensifies and the pressure to move beyond the whiteboard and manufacture real working parts increases, the most successful companies will be those that take advantage of the latest breakthroughs in metal AM to design, test, and manufacture with unprecedented speed and agility.
3D Printing for the COMET Space Tug
In this webinar, attendees will join Baghchehsara, Hansen, and Peels as they discuss the advancements in metal AM and explore how the Velo3D end-to-end solution can provide the innovation in part manufacturing and supply chain flexibility to enable the required advances in the emerging entrepreneurial space sector.
Space technology has vast potential, and as the market moves forward, we will witness more startups using 3D printers, including more collaborations between space firms and 3D printing companies. One such case is Plasmos, a company focused on building a reusable space tug called COMET for low-cost last-mile space payload delivery in low Earth orbit (LEO).
To create the COMET space tug capable of carrying up to four small satellites to orbit, Plasmos has partnered with Velo3D. Together they have 3D printed the spacecraft, which is powered by CLEPS Gen 1 engines, and are leveraging Velo3D’s progressive metal AM solution to manufacture the electric/chemical hybrid engine, which could one day significantly reduce the cost of placing satellites into orbit. Starting in late 2024, the Plasmos team will offer affordable custom orbital delivery anywhere in LEO or Equatorial in combination with the SpaceX Rideshare program.
Intended to deliver double impulse compared to current engines used in space and 1000 times more thrust compared to traditional Electric Propulsion systems, the CLEPS design by Baghchehsara and his team could help this company become the “UPS for Space.”
Space 3D Printing Webinar – October 13: 11 am PT/2 pm ET
As an entrepreneur and corporate leader, Baghchehsara has a deep understanding of artificial intelligence (AI) and autonomous systems. He has applied the technology in the automotive, aerospace, and cognitive science fields. He was even designing the first Autonomous System for Distress Tracking for commercial aircraft while working at Airbus in 2018. His efforts have been recognized by the Royal Aeronautical Society and American Society of Mechanical Engineers, and he has founded three companies utilizing AI for the aerospace industry. Additionally, Baghchehsara started a venture capital (VC) firm to fund disruptive companies that generic VCs won’t.
On the Velo3D side, the webinar will feature Brent Hansen, who has a background as an engineer and demonstrated a history of working with some of the biggest companies in the medical, aviation, and aerospace industries, like Lockheed Martin Space Systems and NuVasive. In addition, attendees will learn from his professional background in metal AM, primarily since some of the parts 3D printed by Hansen can be found in space and uncrewed aerial vehicles (UAVs).
Eager to discuss the new space industry with webinar viewers, Hansen had this to say: “Every industry experiences booms in innovation and right now it’s happening in the space industry. The emerging NewSpace industry has different requirements than the space industry of the ‘70s and ‘80s and advanced manufacturing technologies, like metal AM, are helping these startups innovate faster and simplify their supply chains to meet challenging timelines. Our work with Ali [Baghchehsara] and Plasmos is a great example of how additive manufacturing can quickly turn a CAD file into a printed engine ready for test firing. We also have the pleasure of working with many of the well-known NewSpace companies who have utilized our technology in the same way to build parts for rocket engines, with some of them building entire combustion chambers, injectors, nozzles, and regenerative cooling channels for fuel preheating into single components.”
Since Velo3D’s foundation in 2014, it has additively manufactured complex geometric structures used by industry giants like SpaceX, Lockheed Martin, and newcomers like Astra and Launcher to print rocket engines and other mission-critical parts for orbit.
This webinar is a great resource for industry practitioners to improve their understanding of 3D printing for space, and how businesses can create supportive partnerships and become allies in this incredible New Space ecosystem, which Joris Peels has described as a “race between companies rather than states.”
“All of the major space firms are using 3D printing to make propulsion components. They are driving growth in 3D printing, especially in large and complex parts. In the New Space race, faster iterations, better geometries, light-weighting, higher performance textures, and part consolidation are what are carrying the day,” concluded Peels.
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