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Canada Makes Teams Up for Space-Bound Part

Canada Makes, FusiA, and MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. (MDA), all located in Canada, have partnered to build metal additive manufactured (AM) components to be launched into space as part of a satellite later this year. The parts are spacecraft interface brackets for an antenna and are in the process of being optimized for a flight project. The funding, design, and build of the metal component is a team effort: Canada Makes provided funding through its Metal Additive Demonstration Program supported by NRC-IRAP, MDA designed the component, and FusiA built it.

"We are accelerating our adoption of additive manufacturing for space," says Joanna Boshouwers, MDA's vice president and general manager. "The FusiA built part shown will be tested structurally in order to qualify the rest of the batch to fly in space. The support MDA received by Canada Makes' program has proved to be valuable, allowing us to explore more complex parts produced with this technique."

"Canada Makes' primary goal is to reinforce Canada's additive manufacturing supply chain and this project is a big step in that direction," said Frank Defalco, manager, Canada Makes. "This is the third round we have partnered with NRC-IRAP on the Metal AM Demonstration Program, and we are very pleased that many other projects are also helping companies learn how to use additive manufacturing to innovate."

The Metal Additive Manufacturing Demonstration Program is delivered by Canada Makes through funding by NRC-IRAP. The program is designed to help Canadian industries increase awareness and assist in understanding the advantages of the metal AM technology. Canada Makes works with a group of AM experts who provide participating companies guidance of the advantages and business opportunities in terms of cost savings and efficiencies of AM.


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