Lockheed Martin has completed the final set of quality tests on a titanium cylinder built using 3D printing technology for satellite fuel storage, concluding a multiyear development project.
The fuel tank consists of two domes that function as caps, and a variable-length, traditionally-manufactured titanium cylinder that serves as the body, Lockheed said Wednesday.
“Our largest 3D printed parts to date show we’re committed to a future where we produce satellites twice as fast and at half the cost,” said Richard Ambrose, executive vice president of Lockheed’s space business and a three-time Wash100 recipient.
“For example, we shaved off 87 percent of the schedule to build the domes, reducing the total delivery timeline from two years to three months,” Ambrose added.
Lockheed technicians used the Electron Beam Additive Manufacturing system to build the domes at a company facility located in Denver.
The company offers the fuel tank as a standard product offering for the LM 2100 satellite bus.