Winners INNOspace Masters 2017
DLR Space Administration Challenge

2nd Place for
Fraunhofer IST with partners Rauch CNC Manufaktur and OHB AG
Additive Manufacturing for Space Using High-Performance Polymers

AMPFORS (Additive Manufacturing of Polymer Parts for Space) is seeking to replace the metal structural components used for space applications with lightweight polymer parts. These parts are produced by means of additive manufacturing, which is also known as 3D printing. To compensate for their lower mechanical stability compared to metal, the polymer components are then outfitted with a metallic layer to form a “sandwich” composite. AMPFORS plans to use both the high-performance polymer PEEK and the less expensive material polyamide (PA). In addition to the space sector, this project‘s key markets include aircraft manufacturing, mechanical engineering, tool-making, and medical equipment production.

Benefits:

  • Makes satellite structures up to 20% lighter and up to 50% less expensive
  • Incorporation of metal coatings improve the mechanical, electrical, and thermal properties of polymers; also prevents the emission of water and monomers
  • Additive Manufacturing process speeds up component design and production

Award ceremony in Berlin: (from left to right) Dr. Gerd Gruppe (Member of the Executive Board, DLR), Bernd Rauch (Rauch CNC Manufaktur), Dr. Andreas Dietz (Fraunhofer IST), Egbert Jan van der Veen (OHB AG) and Dr. Franziska Zeitler (Head of Innovation & New Markets, DLR)

© DLR/ Leuschner