Canada Makes, FusiA and MDA partner to 3D print satellite components
The collaboration is part of an ongoing effort to expand Canada’s additive manufacturing supply chain.
Canada Makes, FusiA and MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. (MDA) are collaborating on a 3D printing initiative — to 3D print parts that ca be launched into space.
Canada Makes is funding the project through its Metal Additive Demonstration program supported by NRC-IRAP. MDA was responsible for designing the spacecraft interface brackets for an antenna that was 3D printed by FusiA.
“We are accelerating our adoption of additive manufacturing for space,” says 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.”
This partnership is not the first instance of 3D printing being used to produce spacecraft parts. Boeing recently announced that they will be working with the technology as well as a handful of other satellite manufacturers have expressed interest in the cost and time saving benefits of using additive manufacturing.
“Canada Makes primary goal is to reinforce Canada’s additive manufacturing supply chain and this project is a big step in that direction,” said 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.”
The Metal Additive Manufacturing Demonstration Program is designed to help Canadian industries increase awareness and assist in understanding the advantages of the metal additive manufacturing (AM) technology.