The Technology House (TTH), a product development service provider, has used Digital Light Synthesis (DLS) 3-D printing technology from Silicon-valley based Carbonto to help produce autonomous robotic systems as part of the SEEKER project for NASA.
Costing $3 million, the SEEKER project from NASA comprises of two free-flying autonomous robots, Seeker and Kenobi, designed to inspect and monitor such craft while in space. Seeker and Kenobi were launched aboard the Cygnus spacecraft from global security company Northrop Grumman, a commercial partner of NASA, as part of the first demonstration of the free-flyer technology for autonomous robotic inspection from NASA. Cygnus was launched from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility on April 17th to carry out Northrop Grumman’s Commercial Resupply Services mission to deliver supplies to the International Space Station (ISS).
TTH utilized Carbon’s M2 3-D printer in conjunction with Cyanate Ester 221 (CE 221) to produce four high-performance thrusters for the cold-gas propulsion system within the Seeker robots for NASA. According to TTH, the SEEKER project contains the “first certified plastic additive manufactured parts in actual space.”
NASA Johnson Space Center - Project X - Seeker, April 2019