Case Studies

Why the Canadian Space Agency Chose 3D Printing?

Canadian Space Agency (CSA) (2022)


Objectives & Background


Developing functional parts for applications in space is challenging for several reasons. From a manufacturing perspective, engineers are faced with unique design constraints and tight deadlines to meet the specific launch windows. This case study presents how the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) increased process efficiency and decreased cost & time to develop flight ready parts with additive manufacturing.


The challenge


The CSA was challenged to design a flight ready component for the ISS. The engineering team found that traditional manufacturing methods such as CNC and injection molding would increase prototyping costs considerably and would delay the development of end-use parts. In addition, materials selection for this application was critical to ensure compliance with NASA’s standards for outgassing. This was a primary design consideration to ensure parts in space meet the required safety standards.