The European Space Agency (ESA) recently highlighted Alba Orbital’s cutting edge 3D printed satellite dispenser, AlbaPod V2, manufactured by CRP Technology using laser sintering technology and the proprietary, patented Windform XT 2.0 Carbon-reinforced composite material.
AlbaPod V2 is currently the only operational, flight-proven PocketQube Deployer on the market. In a few days, the 3D printed AlbaPod V2 will take 9 satellites to orbit on a SpaceX Falcon 9 launch vehicle. It will be the largest PocketQube launch in history to date.
“The lightweight, unique design of AlbaPod V2 can be easily integrated into any launch vehicle,” Barnaby Osborne, Technical Officer of the ARTES project at ESA, commented. “Alba Orbital have made extensive use of 3D printing to lower the cost of the deployer, while still maintaining the demanding quality standards required for space.”
Alba Orbital managed to reduce the weight of the AlbaPod by using aluminum and Windform XT 2.0, a ground-breaking 3D printing material. The most innovative aspect of the project was the sheer number of components that are now produced through additive manufacturing: not only was the shell redesigned using 3D printing, but also the moving ejection mechanism and door assembly.
All these parts were manufactured in CRP Technology plant, located in Modena, Italy. “We are very proud this is further, unequivocal proof of the successful use of Windform and AM supplied by CRP Technology in the manufacturing of flight-ready applications for the aerospace industry. We paved new roads in technological innovations for the most demanding industries and still do it, with passion and expertise,” said Franco Cevolini, VP and CTO CRP Technology.
CRP Technology’s technical knowledge in the aerospace sector has allowed the company to became one of the most important suppliers of professional 3D printing solutions for some of the most demanding industries, leveraging the strong relationship with CRP USA, CRP Technology’s US-based partner.
Indeed, CRP USA’s built up considerable experience supplying cutting edge solutions for key space industry leaders that chose to manufacture their products using the Windform TOP-LINE family of composite materials for SLS, and attracting the interest of the most important bodies involved in space engineering.
Examples of 3D printed applications in Windform manufactured by CRP USA: the TuPOD, the first complete 3D printed satellite deployer launched from the ISS, a unique 3D printed 3U CubeSat and a dispensing system for two tube satellites; the Discovery 1a, the first pocketqube space-ready functional prototype manufactured using Windform XT 2.0 Carbon-reinforced composite material and AM.