An X-ray telescope designed to search for supermassive black holes could be built using a novel 3D-printing technique called plasma metal deposition. The ESA space telescope – which would also be used to map hot gas structures and determine their physical properties – is due to be launched in 2033.
As part of a project to evaluate whether plasma metal deposition could be used to help build large structure components of the telescope – called Athena, which is short for Advanced Telescope for High-ENergy Astrophysics – Austrian company RHP Technology used the technique to manufacture six demonstrator parts. The prototypes are a 3D-printed and partly processed version of what may someday become the ‘eye’ of Athena. Plasma metal deposition is also a candidate for manufacturing large-scale components in the future, such as Athena’s optical bench, which will align and secure around 600 mirror modules – and will be the largest part ever printed in titanium. The overall shape with a diameter of around 3 meters must be accurate to within a few tens of micrometers. ESA materials engineer […]
Above: PepsiCo food, snack, and beverage product line-up/Source: PepsiCo PepsiCo turned to tooling with 3D printing...