Anisoprint, a composite fiber 3D printing technology pioneer, was selected to participate in the Startup Support Program (SSP) managed by European Space Resources Innovation Centre (ESRIC) in partnership with Technoport, the Luxembourg Space Agency (LSA), the Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology (LIST) and the European Space Agency (ESA). SSP’s goal is to develop the space resources ecosystem by providing a platform for entrepreneurs with business ideas targeting terrestrial and space applications.
We’re entering a new era of space exploration: In order to travel further in space and stay in orbit longer, humans need to develop systems and technologies that enable life in space. There are several aspects that nearly all additive technologies share – they solve logistic issues, they foster on-site small batch production, and they leave no waste after the production process. Naturally the more it is important for an industry, the more benefit is generated.
Covering all aspects of the space resources value chain
ESRIC has launched the first “Start-up Support Programme” (SSP) worldwide dedicated to Technology and Commercial projects in the area of space resource utilization. Following the initial call for applications in 2021, 33 start-ups have applied from 17 countries around the world. Only five met the tough criteria for the programme. The business incubator selected teams with a clear focus on strategic thinking and goal-setting and a proven expertise in developing innovative and reliable technologies in terrestrial and space industry markets.
“We are really looking forward to starting to work with the Anisoprint team: they have invented a technology that is already successful on earth, we are eager to see it adjusted to space conditions” – Lari Cujko, Startup Program Lead.
Enabling 3D printing in outer space
Anisoprint applied to participate in the ESRIC incubator to adjust composite fiber 3D printing for close-to-zero gravity conditions. During the SSP, the team will work on the development of equipment allowing 3D printing of tools, components, repair parts and structural elements made of composite materials in conditions of weightlessness and low gravity. Our project will support the development, extraction and use of space resources.
Fedor Antonov, Anisoprint CEO: “Space is a huge opportunity and an exciting challenge, and ultimately space exploration is the frontier of engineering progress. In-space manufacturing, in-orbit manufacturing were always my biggest endeavors. The Luxembourg government has designated spacetech as one of its top development priorities, and we are thrilled to have a chance to contribute to that under the ESRIC initiative.”
Dmitrii Prokopiuk, Anisoprint Head of Space Development: “Humanity will turn to the Moon for a sustainable and permanent presence. To explore and find new resources, earth technologies need to be adjusted for use in space. Anisoprint creates new space technologies in 3D printing and our team is ready to contribute to this great project and to be a participant of the ESRIC initiative.“
Anisoprint’s diverse R&D team is backed up by a strong skill set and many years of experience in composite materials. It includes people from around 14 countries, who share a common mission: Enabling lightweight composite structures with Anisoprinting, a zero-waste manufacturing technology.
With all the experience of developing and sustaining a set of different products – technology, hardware, software, materials (both plastic and fiber), education – on different levels, the team is expanding the activities to space exploration sector.
Anisoprint is a Luxembourg-based hardware startup producing 3D Printers that allow to manufacture continuous fiber reinforced plastic parts that can substitute metal ones in aerospace, engineering and many other areas along with cutting costs and increasing productivity. Continuous Fiber Coextrusion (CFC), the technology that was developed and patented by the company, allows to create lattice structures, which is the key for multimaterial optimization and production. Such parts are lighter, stronger and cheaper than their metal analogs.
ESRIC is Europe’s leading research and innovation centre in the field of space resources launched in 2020 in partnership with the European Space Agency (ESA), the Luxembourg Space Agency, the Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology (LIST), and Technoport (Luxembourg’s main technology incubator). In addition to the development of research activities along the value chain of space resources, the centre supports commercial initiatives of established players and start-ups, enables technology transfer between space and non-space industries and encourages public-private partnerships and new initiatives in the field of space resources. Unique of its kind, ESRIC aims to become the internationally recognised centre of expertise for scientific, technical, business and economic aspects related to the use of space resources for human and robotic exploration, as well as for a future in-space economy.
(c) Picture & Link: Anisoprint
Picture: A lunar rover with an anisoprinted suspension (Smooth PA, composite carbon fiber reinforcement)