A metal additively manufactured part that helps reduce the weight of a communications satellite has been developed through a collaboration between Canada Makes, MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd (MDA) and FusiA, based in Canada and France respectively. The spacecraft interface part, produced to fit onto a satellite antenna, will be launched later this year.
Weight is an especially important consideration in space flight, where fuel costs can be prohibitive. By additively manufacturing the component and incorporating a mesh internal structure, its weight has been dramatically reduced compared to a conventional part.
“We are accelerating our adoption of Additive Manufacturing for space,” stated Joanna Boshouwers, MDA’s Vice President and General Manager. “The FusiA built part shown will be tested structurally in order to qualify the rest of the batch to fly in space. The support MDA received by Canada Makes’ program has proved to be valuable, allowing us to explore more complex parts produced with this technique.”
“Canada Makes primary goal is to reinforce Canada’s Additive Manufacturing supply chain and this project is a big step in that direction,” added Frank Defalco, Manager Canada Makes. “This is the third round we have partnered with NRC-IRAP on the Metal AM Demonstration Program, and we are very pleased that many others projects are also helping companies learn how to use additive manufacturing to innovate.”