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Optisys deploys SLM 500 metal 3D printer to produce lightweight space parts

Antenna and radar product supplier Optisys is using SLM Solutions SLM 500 metal 3D printing platform to manufacture parts for use in space missions.

The company is renowned for its manufacture and delivery of slotted flat panels, feeds and phased arrays for antenna and radar applications. It is harnessing SLM Solutions’ metal 3D printing technology to produce light, compact and robust designs able to withstand harsh environments.

With four 700W laser working simultaneously and smart assembly capability in the build envelope, the SLM 500 is capable of producing several individual components in one build process. It also features closed powder handling with automated powder sieving to ensure no powder contact and boasts the ability to change the build cylinder which is said to ‘minimise downtime, maximise productivity and reduce cost per part.’

By combining the SLM 500 with topology optimisation capabilities, Optisys is incorporating internal hollow structures into part designs to produce lightweight components, which bring about reductions in launch costs. Since launch costs are priced per kilogram, companies like Optisys are under pressure to reduce weight where they can, and the company believes additive manufacturing offers significant advantages in that regard compared to traditional methods.

“Additive manufacturing technology ensures we can create the lightest, strongest and best performing RF products available,” commented Optisys CEO Janos Opra. “By coupling aspects of the RF system into single components or repeatable tiles, our customers can reduce weight enormously over competing suppliers. This is of prime importance for many players in the ‘New Space’ market particularly.”

“We are proud that metal-based additive manufacturing is making such an important contribution to space missions,” added SLM Solutions CEO Sam O’Leary. “This deployment demonstrates how robust the parts produced with SLM technology are. Innovative, top-tier companies such as Optisys continue to drive additive manufacturing forward and bring it to other planets. It makes us proud to enable their success.”


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