A growing number of aerospace companies are embracing 3D printing as they transform how they prototype and manufacture. To support innovation in aerospace engineering, Stratasys (Eden Prairie, MN), a global provider of 3D printing and additive manufacturing solutions, and its subsidiary MakerBot, have announced the CubeSat Challenge on GrabCAD, home to the world's largest community of mechanical engineers. The CubeSat Challenge invites the GrabCAD community to use 3D printing to rethink the CubeSat, a standard small-research satellite built by universities, aerospace startups and independent makers around the world.
All entries will be posted in the GrabCAD Challenge and a panel of prominent judges from the aerospace and 3D-printing fields will select the winners. Participants have a chance to win cash prizes, as well as MakerBot Replicator desktop 3D printers and Stratasys Direct Manufacturing print services.
With the introduction of CubeSat and its standardized geometry, componentry and interfaces in 1999, the cost of building and launching a satellite plummeted. Today, CubeSats are one of the fastest growing segments of the aerospace industry. Yet traditional manufacturing methodology remains a constraint; a CubeSat structure contains between 30 and 50 parts that need to be assembled manually.