First place was awarded to Paolo Minetola for FoldSat.
Over 200 entries were submitted across the globe to demonstrate ways of using 3D printing to rethink the design of a CubeSat, a standardised small satellite frame originally developed to allow university students to build low-cost satellites for research and education purposes. The goal was to design CubeSat structures that would be faster and easier to manufacture, and pack more utility into the very small volume that CubeSat designers had to work with..
“Engineers were able to reduce satellite structures from up to 50 parts down to two or three parts by using additive manufacturing,” explained Scott Sevcik, business development manager for aerospace and defense at Stratasys. “There were a number of very creative approaches to redesigning the satellite structure, and it was great to see several of the entries consolidate the build down to two or as few as one part. That highlights one of the most significant benefits of 3D printing a structure.
Reducing part count from 50 to three can make a significant impact on a manufacturer’s operations. It can reduce the amount of assembly labour, risk of assembly error and simplify the supply chain.
First place was awarded to Paolo Minetola for his entry FoldSat, a design that uses geometries only possible with 3D printing. Second place went to David Franklin for his entry STRATASATT – FDM ONE, a design that illustrates customization using real CubeSat components. Third place went to Chris Esser with his entry Foldable Articulated CubeSat for Additive Manufacturing. His design featured 3D printed threads and six hinged panels.
Entries were judged by a panel of experts from the 3D printing industry based on technical requirements including feasibility, production, value and being optimized for additive manufacturing. Participants had the chance to win prizes that range from MakerBot Replicator Desktop 3D Printers to cash to manufacturing services provided by Stratasys Direct Manufacturing