NASA Funds Sanders Design for Aerospace ModelMaker

Date: Wed Jan 17 2001 - 17:45:36 EET

January 17, 2001

From: Al Hastbacka

Summary: NASA Funds Aerospace ModelMaker

Sanders Design International, Inc. (SDI) received a Phase II Small Business
Innovative Research (SBIR) award from the National Aeronautics and Space
Administration (NASA) for $600,000 to develop an Aerospace ModelMaker System
for automated fabrication of multi-material patterns. Advanced layered
fabrication technology developed at SDI enables multiple materials to be
deposited via ink-jets to build precision three-dimensional patterns/models
using ceramics, metals, and polymers in various combinations.
The Aerospace ModelMaker will provide NASA engineers at Langley Research
Center, VA, the ability to fabricate ceramic wind tunnel scale models of
advanced space shuttle designs with up to 256 integrated wires and sensors
embedded within as an in situ process. The embedded silver metal conductors
are deposited at the same time that each ceramic layer is deposited to form
the "green state" ceramic model, which is then fired to yield the final test

The Aerospace ModelMaker (AMM) can also reduce development time and cost for
several different types of Palm Power devices-whether they are based upon
fuel cells, thermoelectric conversion, or miniature turbine engines. The AMM
technology base is SDI's Rapid ToolMaker (RTM)™. The Rapid ToolMaker (RTM)
system produces the finest precision tooling patterns in the world today and
rivals that of computer numerically controlled (CNC) accuracy as verified by
an independent testing laboratory. The RTM is a commercial product developed
under previous NASA and ATP programs.

For more information about the rp-ml, see

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