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Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Tech Transfer

Metal Advanced Manufacturing Bot-Assisted Assembly (MAMBA) Process

Completed Technology Project

Project Description

Metal Advanced Manufacturing Bot-Assisted Assembly (MAMBA) Process, Phase I Briefing Chart Image
Tethers Unlimited, Inc. (TUI) proposes to develop the Metal Advanced Manufacturing Bot-Assisted Assembly (MAMBA) Process, a robotically managed metal press and milling system used to create precision parts on orbit. This manufacturing process provides an alternative to 3D printing metals in space, which is difficult due to space environment or print quality issues. Instead, the MAMBA-Process relies on an ingot forming technology to create a metal ingot. This ingot can then be milled and machined to form a precision part using a standard CNC milling technique. In order to minimize astronaut time and exposure to the process, the MAMBA-Process will be outfitted with a robotic assistant, using robotic assistance to remove the ingot from the press, to place the ingot in the mill, and to perform tool changes on the mill. The MAMBA effort will also develop a novel process for management and recycling of metal chips in a microgravity environment. Testing of the process technologies will lead to a lab demonstration of ingot formation and milling in the Phase I effort, maturing the MAMBA Process to TRL-3. In the Phase II effort, a full scale engineering unit will be built and tested to begin validating this technology for flight. More »

Anticipated Benefits

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Primary U.S. Work Locations and Key Partners

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