Here at 3D Rapid Print, one of the fastest growing 3D Printing companies in the Thames Valley, we like to keep abreast of the latest innovations in 3D printing.

In March 2021, L3Harris of Melbourne and Nano Dimension of Sunrise announced that an assortment of 3D printed material samples they had made together had been transported to the International Space Station (ISS), including a 3D printed radio frequency (RF) circuit. (L3Harris is an aerospace and defence technology company. Nano Dimension describes itself as “a provider of intelligent machines for the fabrication of Additively Manufactured Electronics.” Both Melbourne and Sunrise are in Florida.)

L3Harris proclaimed that the circuit would be mounted to the outside of the ISS for 6 months, where it would be exposed to the environment of outer space before being brought back to Earth for testing. This would form part of an experiment investigating the durability of 3D printed RF circuits in space for potential use in future small satellites. The experiment would also investigate the use of 3D printed materials in RF applications. Nano Dimension claimed that the experiment had been 2 years in the making and would be the first of its kind in the world.

Other examples of 3D printing going out of this world include KULR Technology (KULR) of San Diego, California. (KULR is a self-proclaimed “develops, manufactures and licenses next-generation carbon fiber thermal management technologies for batteries and electronic systems” company.) In August 2020, KULR announced that it had been hired by NASA to help it develop 3D printed battery systems for what KULR referred to as “manned and robotic space applications.” This followed NASA using KULR’s technology in storage bags to experiment with protecting laptop batteries stored on the ISS circa September 2019.

As another example, in April 2018 news broke of NASA intending to use 3D printed parts on its Orion spacecraft, which would mark the first time that 3D printing would be brought to an American-led, manned spaceflight. Incidentally, the ISS got its own 3D printer in November 2014 to investigate the practicability of astronauts manufacturing their own tools.

3D printing is an amazing tool. It can grow your small business or start a mini revolution in an industry. Explore what it can do for you when you contact us today.

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