The first iLAuNCH Trailblazer project has commenced and is set to establish an advanced manufacturing facility in Adelaide that will design and deliver stronger, more durable satellites and hypersonic vehicle structures.

Partners in the program include the Future Industries Institute at the University of South Australia and Adelaide-based advanced manufacturer VPG Innovation.

Together, UniSA and VPG will support the industry with rapid 3D printing of metals for space structures using a process called Electron Bream Melting (EBM), which sees powdered metals melted by high-energy beam electrons.

The project will enable the partners to develop best practices and devise the most appropriate way to build parts using the new technology.

iLAuNCH Trailblazer’s Executive Director, Darin Lovett, said the project supports one of the program’s key focus areas of additive manufacturing.

“Increasing the availability of custom structures, which are space-ready, will support the growing space sector,” said Mr Lovett.

“The partnership will also support a world-class Australian sovereign manufacturing capability that will create new jobs, alongside a highly trained workforce, leading to global exports within the space industry and other markets.”

The University of South Australia’s Industry Professor Colin Hall explained that the project is dedicated to building the space engineering capabilities of the country.

“The project is full steam ahead; we already have two engineers in Sweden developing the practical skills to operate and maintain the systems,” said Professor Hall.

“This project, the first to kick off for the space trailblazer program, will deliver additive manufacturing, at scale, to Australia.”

Group CEO and Co-founder of Stärke-AMG, parent company of VPG Innovation, Al Jawhari, said the company is excited to collaborate closely with the researchers from the Future Industries Institute.

“This partnership reflects our commitment to fostering innovation and cultivating sovereign capability on a national level,” said Mr Jawhari.

Learn more about iLAuNCH