Scottish rocket firm Skyrora has created Europe’s largest 3D printer, in its bid to trim down manufacturing time for its future space vehicles.
As well as speeding up processes, the printer, known as Skyprint 2, will cut costs and complexity but around a third, Skyrora said today.
It will also help with rocket repairs, as the firm looks to complete 16 launches a year by 2030, under a new deal with space port company SaxaVord, which is currently developing a launch site in Shetland.
It forms part of Skyrora’s plas to “take full control” of its manufacturing processes, as the appetite for space-tech in the UK and across the world takes off.
Parts can take around 10 weeks from concept to production, the rocket first explained, with added time needed for ‘quality modifications’.
However, with the new hybrid 3D printer, the time needed to manufacture key rocket engine components has been “significantly reduced” to just two weeks.
The firm is also looking to tackle space debris from 2023 onwards with its Skyrora XL rocket and ‘space tug’ – despite the parts not originally being printed.
Tackling the issue of space junk, the “re-ignitable” Skyrora XL rocket is due to launch in 2023 where the so-called ‘space tug’ can push the government to meet its space sustainability goals.