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Managing Editor  | October 2017

Lockheed Martin partnering with Australian university on metal 3-D printing

Lockheed Martin recently announced that it was partnering with the University of Sydney and RMIT University (Melbourne) in Australia to research and develop advanced technologies for defense and commercial space-based applications.



This partnership could lead to advancements in 3-D printing of parts for satellites.
(Wikimedia Commons)


With the University of Sydney, Lockheed will be developing photonic-base filters for microwave radio frequency (RF) signal processing. Using light to send RF signals over fiber-optic lines will make RF filters smaller, more efficient, and allows data to be received much faster.


With RMIT University, Lockheed is working on advanced additive manufacturing processes. In particular, the project will focus on metal 3-D printing to reduce costs without losing quality, which would make it possible to manufacture high-strength, lightweight metal alloy components anywhere.


By advancing the technology of 3-D printed metal, Lockheed Martin is hoping to bolster the production of components for aerospace applications, making them easier to build and speeding up the manufacture of aerospace assemblies.


“Australia’s participation in the development of advanced technologies that will support the utilization, monitoring and exploration of space provides opportunities for innovation, local skilled jobs and growth across our space industry, and clearly demonstrates Australia’s world class R&D capabilities in this area,” said Rod Drury, Managing Director - Australia, Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company.


According to an article about the announcement from 3Ders.org, “The appeal of 3D printing in the aerospace industry is largely because the technology has the potential to create lighter parts (making things easier to ship to space), and could even be used in space to produce anything from tools to habitats on demand.”

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