nScrypt’s sister engineering company, Sciperio, is using the nScrypt Factory in a Tool (FiT) to 3D manufacture small satellites for the U.S. Space Force
nScrypt’s sister engineering company, Sciperio, is using the nScrypt Factory in a Tool (FiT) to 3D manufacture small satellites for the U.S. Space Force. The project is under an SBIR Phase II for the advanced manufacture and assembly of 6U Cubesats. CubeSats are a class of research spacecraft called nanosatellites built to standard dimensions (Units or “U”) of 10 cm x 10 cm x 10 cm.
nScrypt’s strategy is to achieve short design-to-deployment time by building each launch-capable cubesat on one of its Factory in a Tool 3D manufacturing platforms. nScrypt’s FiT improves satellite functionality by embedding electrical, thermal, and other functionality into the structure. 3D manufacturing the cubesat also reduces cost because each satellite is fully manufactured on a single nScrypt system from a digital file with minimal human involvement.
The FiT builds multilayer electronics through multi-material deposition and integrated milling, drilling, and pick and place. For example, after one layer of the cubesat’s structure is extruded, the system mills that layer to accept an electronic trace and pick-and-placed electronic components that cannot be printed. The extruder then deposits another layer of structure to embed those electronics. That process is repeated until the cubesat is completed, with all of the electronics and other functionality (such as detumbling coils, solar panels, solar sensors, strain gauges, magnetometers, accelerometers, and temperature sensors) embedded into the walls or the surface of the structure itself. Connections to the functionality embedded in the cubesat will happen in the satellite base. The FiT will build the power distribution module as a multiplayer printed electronic structure.
Ken Church, CEO of both nScrypt and Sciperio, said:
nScrypt’s FiT provides the ability to rapidly fabricate a small satellite to respond to an immediate need. For example, the Space Force will be able to react rapidly to meet new threats by compressing the time from design to orbit. Sciperio also improves functionality by 3D manufacturing each cubesat as a printed electronic structure. This means that the satellite is not a box with electronics inside. Instead, the functionality is embedded into the structure of the cubesat as it is being digitally manufactured by our system. The design is modular so that functionalities can be interchangeable. Because the system does all of this conformally, the cubesat can be virtually any shape.