3D printing is being used by ESA to advance spaceflight through the production of copper coils.


The European Space Agency (ESA) has made a groundbreaking stride in the realm of manufacturing pure copper electromagnetic coils through the optimization of 3D printing. This achievement is part of the ESA’s General Support Technology Programme (GSTP), which is celebrating its 30th anniversary. Over the years, the GSTP has collaborated with more than 2,000 research contracts to advance space exploration technology alongside European industry and academia.

The significance of these coils cannot be overstated. They play a vital role in electric motors and satellite attitude control. By utilizing laser powder bed fusion and further refining the process through the expertise of Zarm Technik in Germany, the ESA has managed to elevate its spaceflight technology to new heights. This development showcases the ESA’s commitment to maintaining a competitive edge in the field.

One of the most remarkable aspects of the GSTP is the unanimous participation of ESA member states. This not only highlights the program’s value but also serves as a testament to its success. The production of these printed coils marks a significant milestone towards the exploration of more complex designs and efficient production methods. Not only do these advancements support ESA’s space missions, but they also enhance the reputation of the European space sector on an international scale.

The recent advancements in additive manufacturing hold immense potential for improving space hardware construction and operation. Such technologies are crucial for ESA to continue leading the way in space technology. As the GSTP embarks on its fourth decade, the agency is leveraging its rich heritage of research and development to ensure that its missions are equipped with cutting-edge technology.

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Original source


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