Farsoon 3D printing technology produces end-use parts for China mars mission

Farsoon’s laser sintering 3D printing technology has been used to produced end-use components on China’s Long March 5 carrier rocket.

The Long March 5, developed by the China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology, was successfully launched in July as part of the Tianwen-1 interplanetary mission to Mars to send a robotic spacecraft orbit, land and rove in a single mission. It has been designed to carry 25 tonnes of payload in low earth orbit and 14 tonnes in geo-synchronous transfer orbit, while also boasting a large diameter of 5 metres with four 3.35 metre boosters.

Farsoon’s HT1001P platform and FS3300PA material were harnessed to produce parts for the rocket’s static firing skirt which required highly functional and durable components. The static firing skirt, along with a number of supporting components, provides a temporary structural medium between the stage and the aft support ring to protect the unlocking device during the ‘staging’ process of a rocket’s flight in which stages of the structure are jettisoned.

The cylindrically shaped static firing skirt structure is made up of 50 assembled 3D printed pieces measuring 370 x 100 x 125 mm. Using the HT1001P and its 1000 x 500 x 450 mm build envelope, the parts were additively manufactured within 48 hours and met the strength and toughness requirements of the Long March 5 carrier rocket, as well as being easy to assemble and featuring good post-processability for water-proofing and salt spray to assess the extreme atmospheric corrosion resistance.

On August 2nd, the Tianwen-1 successfully carried out its first orbital correction after travelling more than 230 hours in space and three million kilometres away from the earth, according to the China National Space Administration (CNSA), and if successful will become the first Mars expedition to complete orbiting, landing and roving in a single mission.

Farsoon says it is ‘proud to contribute to space science and demonstrate 3D printing as an innovative manufacturing method for a wide range of end-use applications.’

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