The European Space Agency ESA is driving forward the use of 3D printing for the manufacture of components. As part of the GSTP technology program, high-purity copper coils have now been manufactured using 3D printing, as announced by ESA. Applications include electric motors.
The coils consist of metal powder that is melted using the laser sintering process. According to ESA, this enables more complex designs and efficient production. The copper coils are an important step towards benefiting from additive manufacturing in space travel.
The GSTP has funded over 2000 research projects in 30 years to advance space technologies. Thanks to advances in 3D printing, components can be manufactured more efficiently, according to the ESA. This is crucial for the competitiveness of European space travel.
The copper coils were manufactured in Germany. According to ESA, they are used in satellites for attitude control, among other things.