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Additively Manufactured Multi-Material Insert, Phase I

Completed Technology Project

Project Introduction

Parabilis Space Technologies is pleased to propose development of a novel additive manufacturing method which enables the use of multiple dissimilar materials in an additively manufactured parent part. This revolutionary process dramatically extends the economic and design advantages of additive manufacturing into areas where either tolerances or available homogeneous materials would otherwise be insufficient. The use of additive manufacturing has the ability to both reduce part count by enabling innovative designs and reduce design cycle time because of the direct connection between the computer generated geometry and the final part. In addition to expanding the range of possibility for part geometries, additive manufacturing is also unique in the property that the cost of manufacturing increases with the addition, not the removal, of material. Conventional machining is driven by the cost of the time required to remove material. This discrepancy often makes lightweight, minimalistic additive manufacturing designs cheaper than traditionally machined parts. This conveys a significant advantage for aerospace parts where mass is at a premium. Unfortunately, these revolutionary manufacturing processes are still limited to homogenous powders. This limits their application to parts made from single materials, which, in turn, limits the components on which they can be used or else requires multi-piece assemblies. Aerospace components often have very different temperature, stress, or material compatibility constraints on different regions of the same part or assembly. The proposed innovation offers a solution to these problems through an innovated method for joining parts into an additively manufactured parent part, creating a functional seal between the materials. This innovation will significantly advance the state of the art of additive manufacturing technology, not only for thrusters and in-space components, but for aerospace and general mechanical parts as well. More »

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