The Satellite Applications Catapult, a UK-based technology and innovation company, has added a MetalFAB1 metal Additive Manufacturing machine from Additive Industries, The Netherlands, to benefit the British space sector. The MetalFAB1 has been acquired as part of an investment from the Buckinghamshire Local Enterprise Partnership, through the Getting Building Fund, and will be installed at the Satellite Applications Catapult’s Disruptive Innovation for Space Centre (DISC) at Westcott Venture Park, where it will be available for UK companies to use from July 2021.
“Our collaboration with Additives Industries marks a significant milestone bringing weight saving, novel geometries, low volume production requirements and reduced part count solutions to any potential business wanting to manufacture aerospace parts,” stated Mike Curtis-Rouse, Head of Manufacturing for Space at Satellite Applications Catapult. “Positioned at our new facility at Westcott, we look forward to creating a hotbed of testing and development to build capacity for any new or existing UK space manufacturing enterprises.”
Over the coming months, the Satellite Applications Catapult and Additive Industries intends to demonstrate its capabilities to interested UK organisations and will showcase the potential for Additive Manufacturing in the space sector, with a specific emphasis on rocket engines. With thousands of additively manufactured parts in use across multiple disruptive sectors, the technology is now vital for improved performance and the reduction of waste and by-products. However, access to AM equipment that has the capacity to build large parts has, to date, remained prohibitively expensive for most UK SMEs.
The Satellite Applications Catapult intends to remove the barriers to growth for the UK space industry by making this technology available to companies on a pay-as-you-go basis, working either with the Catapult’s expert Manufacturing for Space team or in an independent capacity.”
“With The Satellite Applications Catapult, we added one of Europe’s leading Space Technology Organisations to our focused list of companies. They are committed to bringing the benefits – for example, best in class productivity, highest component quality, highest system reliability to satellite technologies in the UK, and potentially the entire European space sector, ” added Ian Howe, CEO of Additive Industries.
Lars Ryberg, Director Business Development UK & Ireland, Additive Industries, concluded, “Satellite Applications Catapult collaborates with hundreds of space companies throughout the world. They bring together multi-disciplinary teams to generate ideas and solutions in an open innovation environment. Having a customer close to our UK & Ireland Process and Application Centre will give us new opportunities for future collaborations.”