“We are the first to attempt to build an entire instrument with 3D printing,” said
Budinoff is building a 2-inch camera for a cubesat - a miniature satellite,
The camera will have to pass vibration and thermal-vacuum tests next year to prove that it’s capable of space travel.
Budinoff is also using 3D printing to build a 14-inch dual-channel telescope. To build the 3D-printed instruments, first a computer-controlled laser melts down a pile of metal powder.
It then fuses the melted metal into a specific configuration determined by a 3D computer design.
The instruments are built and assembled layer by layer - like slices of bread from a loaf. The 3D printers could reduce the overall cost of building space exploring instruments in the near future, the report added.
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