Leap71 and Solideon Partner to Develop Large-Scale Metal 3D Printer for Space Manufacturing

By on March 26th, 2024 in Corporate, news

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Leap71 has partnered to develop a space 3D printer [Source: Leap71]

Leap71 has struck another very interesting strategic agreement to help develop a large-scale metal 3D printer for industry.

The Dubai-based advanced software company had previously announced a deal with MIMO TECHNIK to provide a complex workflow for aerospace part design, manufacturing and validation.

Now they’ve signed a deal with Solideon, a California-based company building a specialized metal 3D printer called “Aperture”. Aperture is a robotic system that differs from competitors in that it also includes CNC milling and part assembly functionality. It appears to be a device that can take on the duties of several manufacturing processes in one footprint.

The deal involves Leap71 providing Solideon’s Aperture project with a highly advanced workflow solutions equipped with Leap71’s computational engineering capability.

If you’re not familiar with computational engineering, it is an emerging technique that allows very rapid generation of complex part designs. Its generative frameworks can quickly prepare design variants for given part types. If that sounds interesting and you’d like to learn more, please head over to our six-part series on computational engineering.

Leap71 explained:

“Solideon’s robotic system, Aperture, integrates multiple manufacturing steps, including wire-arc 3D printing, CNC milling, and subcomponent assembly. The computational models developed by LEAP 71, generate geometric data and process input for all the separate steps, taking the capabilities and constraints of each production method into account.”

Solideon would use computational engineering to further the capabilities of Aperture for its intended purpose: building parts for use in space. Leap71 CEO Josefine Lissner said: 

“Access to space will expand significantly in the coming years. But how do we build the large components that will be needed to create extraterrestrial infrastructure? LEAP 71’s computational models can design sophisticated space hardware, however, limitations of the current manufacturing processes, including the small build volumes of most industrial 3D printers, are holding us back. Solideon will help us produce objects that are enormous by today’s standards.”

But there’s another big step underway here. Solideon CEO Oluseun Taiwo explained:

“A spacefaring society needs new production technologies that surpass conventional terrestrial approaches. The Aperture system combines many steps into one cohesive, autonomous, and collaborative whole. We can now manufacture large-scale objects on Earth and eventually will do so in zero gravity. By tightly integrating the engineering algorithms created by LEAP 71 with our software-driven production system, we can build objects that move space technology to a new level.”

They’re building a 3D printer — for space!

Via Leap71 and Solideon

By Kerry Stevenson

Kerry Stevenson, aka "General Fabb" has written over 8,000 stories on 3D printing at Fabbaloo since he launched the venture in 2007, with an intention to promote and grow the incredible technology of 3D printing across the world. So far, it seems to be working!

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