Windform XT 2.0 3D printing material
CRP USA, LLC
Mooresville, NC
704-660-0258
www.crp-usa.net

A team of students from the University of Kentucky and Morehead State University developed the KySat-2 project, a 1U CubeSat that launched into orbit as part of NASA’s ElaNa IV mission from Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia.

3D-printed mounting hardware for the camera system.
Thirty-five minutes after deployment from the launch vehicle, KySat-2 began beaconing its telemetry data and was almost immediately heard by amateur radio operators. The KySat-2 team then began performing system checks for each of the various subsystems that make up the satellite.

The KySat-2 CubeSat.
KySat-2 included several 3D-printed components made by CRP USA’s proprietary material Windform XT 2.0. One of the subsystems is the camera system that acts as an attitude determination system called Stellar Gyro. The 3D-printed parts were produced using the additive manufacturing technology Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) and Windform XT 2.0 material. The additive manufactured process 3D-printed the mounting hardware for the camera system, lens cover, deployable extensions for the separation switches, clips for holding the antennas in their stowed position, and the mounting bracket for the onboard batteries.

Windform XT 2.0 is a high-performance material filled with carbon fiber that combines maximum toughness and robustness, while producing an extremely light final part that doesn’t impact the overall production weight of the KySat-2 unit. Utilizing the additive manufacturing technology, SLS, and Windform XT 2.0 material, final parts for small productions can easily replace parts that are usually produced with traditional technology, or are otherwise not manufacturable.

Typically, operational lifetime for a CubeSat is about one year due to radiation exposure and damage to the batteries. The KySat-2 will remain operational as long as the team is able to make reliable contact with the satellite.

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NASA Tech Briefs Magazine

This article first appeared in the September, 2015 issue of NASA Tech Briefs Magazine.

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