2/26/2019

Engine Mount Set to Be First 3D-Printed Part on the Moon

Manufactured by RUAG Space, the 3D-printed engine mount is part of a spacecraft from SpaceIL.

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An engine mount from RUAG Space is projected to be the first 3D-printed part on the moon. The aluminum structure is part of a lunar lander from SpaceIL, a private Israeli company.

“Our 3D part will support landing and lift off of the spacecraft on the moon,” explains Peter Guggenbach, CEO RUAG Space. RUAG Space designed the part and qualified it for space. U.S. company Morf3D produced the 3D-printed structure under contract with RUAG.

“With 3D printing our customers profit from a quicker and more cost-efficient production,” Guggenbach says. Compared to conventional processes, 3D printing enables the production of higher performance, lighter metal or plastic components. “Weight reduction is a decisive factor in the space industry. The lighter the satellite, the lower the costs,” Guggenbach says. “Every kilogram less saves money, since less energy is needed for sending the satellite into orbit.”

SpaceIL’s mission would represent the first non-governmental landing on the moon. The launch will take place mid-February, and the moon landing is expected at the end of a two-month journey in space. The spacecraft is designed to send back photos and videos as well as data about the moon’s magnetic field.

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