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ESA sponsors spaceflight-quality 3D printing

PostPosted: Wed 25 Nov 2020 22:17
by southwestforests
3D printing has been discussed for on-board repairs and maintenance on Starfire ships so here is some real life current news.
https://www.esa.int/ESA_Multimedia/Imag ... r_ceramics
These spur gears – seen here with a euro cent coin for scale – have been produced in stainless steel to a space standard of quality using nothing more than an off-the-shelf desktop 3D printer.

ESA-supported startup TIWARI Scientific Instruments in Germany has developed a technique allowing low cost 3D printing using a variety of metals and ceramics. Ordinarily producing precision parts in such high-performance materials would be costly in both time and money, but the company can instead shape them using standard 3D printing techniques.

Re: ESA sponsors spaceflight-quality 3D printing

PostPosted: Thu 26 Nov 2020 02:48
by Cralis
Awesome. I haven't heard of printing ceramics yet, so that's really neat... a printable insulator! I'm seeing more and more of this and I suspect sooner or later it's going to become the normal way to manufacture lots of things.

But you're right, I've been predicting that machine shops will be replaced by print shops in large naval ships and eventually the space station and spacecraft. The "machine" in "machine shop" is soon going to stand for "Printing Machine" :)

Re: ESA sponsors spaceflight-quality 3D printing

PostPosted: Thu 26 Nov 2020 03:26
by southwestforests
If Starfire had a role playing element to it I can see having, umm, independent operators supplying a black market in "liberated" military grade shipboard printers.

Re: ESA sponsors spaceflight-quality 3D printing

PostPosted: Fri 27 Nov 2020 05:31
by Xveers
Reminds me of a scrap story idea I have about the "lost" Tannenbaum yards...

Re: ESA sponsors spaceflight-quality 3D printing

PostPosted: Fri 27 Nov 2020 20:12
by southwestforests
Xveers wrote:Reminds me of a scrap story idea I have about the "lost" Tannenbaum yards...

They wouldn't happen to be at the gate where the c-beams glittered would they?