space hardware LEAP 71 Solideon Wide copy

Collaboration launched for large-scale AM space hardware

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Solideon and Leap 71 have announced their collaboration to build multi-meter-scale, 3D-printed, space hardware with the eventual goal of enabling off-planet production.

Solideon, formerly Additive Space Technologies, is a US-based provider of collaborative robotic metal 3D printing systems, while Leap 71 is a Dubai-based developer of computational design software.

Both companies have been collaborating for the past year to interface between Leap 71’s proprietary Computational Engineering Models (CEM), which it describes as ‘generative frameworks for building sophisticated physical objects’, and Solideon’s large-size collaborative robotic metal manufacturing technology, Aperture.

Aperture integrates multiple manufacturing steps, including wire-arc 3D printing, CNC milling, and subcomponent assembly, with the computational models developed by Leap 71 generating the geometric data and process input for all the separate steps, taking the capabilities and constraints of each production method into account.

The companies say they are targeting several sectors, including the manufacturing of large rocket propulsion systems, as well as components for infrastructure in space.

Leap 71 CEO Josefine Lissner, said: “Access to space will expand significantly in the coming years. But how do we build the large components that will be needed to create extraterrestrial infrastructure? Leap 71’s computational models can design sophisticated space hardware, however, limitations of the current manufacturing processes, including the small build volumes of most industrial 3D printers, are holding us back. Solideon will help us produce objects that are enormous by today’s standards.”

Solideon CEO Oluseun Taiwo, said: “A spacefaring society needs new production technologies that surpass conventional terrestrial approaches. The Aperture system combines many steps into one cohesive, autonomous, and collaborative whole.

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“We can now manufacture large-scale objects on Earth and eventually will do so in zero gravity. By tightly integrating the engineering algorithms created by Leap 71 with our software-driven production system, we can build objects that move space technology to a new level.”

Founded in 2023, Leap 71 has open-sourced its foundational technology, PicoGK, and actively promotes a transparent and scientific approach to computational design, working across a number of industries.

Solideon states that its focus is on agility and reduced production times. It says that it employs AI for generative design and additive manufacturing improvement to enhance aerospace structure efficiency and design flexibility.