SPACE FLIGHT SYSTEMS RADIOISOTOPE POWER SYSTEMS PROGRAM OFFICE NATIONAL CENTER FOR SPACE EXPLORATION RESEARCH EXTERNAL PARTNERS EDUCATION/OUTREACH SPACE EXPLORATION BENEFITS PROGRAM SUPPORT IMAGE GALLERY



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Manufacturing Innovations


"The Manufacturing Innovation project will focus on rapid prototyping for low-cost manufacturing including algorithm and software development for modeling and simulation to streamline the design to manufacturing pipeline."


 

The MIP project consists of two major elements. The goal of the first element is to develop and demonstrate the ability to fabricate high quality, reliable, and certifiable parts using additive manufacturing (AM) processes for in space application. Plans are to: (1) develop enhanced physics-based modeling/simulation and autonomous finishing/inspection processes; (2) develop an interface between these processes and a AM system (also known as 3D printing and rapid prototyping); and (3) demonstrate that the enhanced manufacturing process is universal to any AM system. For this activity, a functional part from the International Space Station ECLSS (Environmental Control and Life Support System) will be selected as the test case. Several of these parts will be fabricated using LaRC’s EBF3 (Electron Beam Freeform Fabrication) system and MSFC’s EBMRP (Electron Beam Melting Rapid Prototyping) system. The parts will undergo mechanical, structural, and load testing and material NDE resulting in a statistical data base for the material selected. Also fit checks, functional tests, and durability tests will be performed on the finished parts. Although the specimens will be fabricated on earth in a gravity environment, the ultimate goal is fabricate these parts in space using raw materials for planetary bodies, stock delivered from earth, or recycled materials used in space with minimal human involvement.

As directed by OSTP and NASA, the second element of MIP is to establish a manufacturing partnership to support the National Midwest Project. A current national economic assessment of the Midwest has identified Cleveland, Ohio as a depressed city. The goal of this task is for GRC to develop public/private partnerships that include the government, industry, and academia, collaborate with contemporary federal/public/private initiatives in this area including the National Digital Engineering and Manufacturing Initiative (NDEMI) and the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership (AMP), and support the development and implementation of Cleveland’s economic strategy.

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