CRP Technology, the Italian based group, is specialised in Laser Sintering (LS) technology and well-known for their Additive Manufacturing materials called Windform. Windform is carbon fiber reinforced composite material and made for applications such as motorsport sector, aerospace and UAV's. Currently WINDFORM XT 2.0 is the newest version with improved mechanical properties for Laser Sintering machines.
"WINDFORM XT 2.0 retains the matte black color of the previous version and features improvements in mechanical properties: +8% in tensile strength, +22% in tensile modulus and +46% increase in elongation at break."
In October 2011 CRP presented the construction of a satellite CubeSat with rapid prototyping and the material WINDFORM XT at the 2011 SAE Aerotech Congress and Exhibition.
(Image credit: CRP / the building of a CUBESAT with Additive Manufacturing with the WINDFORM XT. )
Yesterday AMSAT-UK announced students at Montana Sate University (MSU) were planning to build their new amateur radio satellite PrintSat with WINDFORM XT 2.0 using a 3D printer. The PrintSat will measure and report on the characteristics of this material during its May 2103 launch in order to verify the utility of additive manufacturing for spacecraft structures and mechanisms.
PrintSat plans to use the same frequencies as RAMPART and use GMSK 9k6 Ax.25 packet radio for its launch from the Wallops Flight Facility into a 500km 40 degree inclination orbit.
David Klumpar KD7MFJ of MSU said 3D printing "will further lower the costs and speed the development of very small satellites, enabling future scientific missions comprised of dozens of satellites flying in formation."
Jim White WD0E, president of Colorado Satellite Services, explained that "Additive manufacturing (also called 3-D printing) has evolved in the past few years to be a very inexpensive and fast way to make mechanical parts. With PrintSat, the entire structure of the small satellite will be printed. As the first use of additive manufacturing for a satellite, we plan to show it's not only cheaper and faster, but that we can make parts that cannot be made in traditional ways."
Posted in 3D Printing Materials
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