Pushing the Boundaries of Passive RF Hardware Design
Monolithic Design for Reduced Part Count
Simplify complex RF hardware to reduce part count and eliminate costly assembly, test, and integration steps. Direct metal printing (DMP) helps our customers impact system level performance by reducing assemblies into single monolithic structures.
Smaller Part Footprints
Increasing the capacity for multiple beams within a single satellite is a major industry trend. While reduced weight drives major improvements, volume is also mission critical. Better packaging efficiencies allow more channels for more services within the limited satellite design volume.
Smooth Surface Topology
Machined surfaces have sharp peaks and troughs, while 3D printed surfaces are made of spheroids melted together for a smooth surface topology. Testing has demonstrated that additively manufactured RF components can perform as well or better than machined surfaces even with higher Ra values. Additive manufacturing enables the ability to shape a part for more effective signal filtering with an optimized surface topology.
Case Study: Low Profile, Low Mass Metasurface Antennas
In collaboration with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the Univ Rennes, CNRS, IETR - UMR 6164, 3D Systems produced several thousand elements of this MTS antenna on a single base plate. Low profile and low mass make this an ideal Ka band antenna type for SmallSats and CubeSats.
Reference: D. González‐Ovejero, O. Yurduseven, G. Chattopadhyay and N. Chahat, “Metasurface Antennas: Flat Antennas for Small Satellites,” in CubeSat Antenna Design , IEEE, 2021, pp.255-313.
Ready to meet our Application Innovation Group?
On-Demand Webinar - Additive Manufacturing for Satellites: Advances in Passive RF and Lightweight Structure
Explore how major OEMs, suppliers, and research institutions have designed and proven lightweight structure and passive radio frequency (RF) components for ground and space with additive manufacturing (AM).
3D Systems Partners with Fleet Space Technologies to Enable Production of Patch Antennas for Next Generation Satellites
3D Systems’ Application Innovation Group assisted with process development, bridge production, technology transfer of additively manufactured radio frequency (RF) patch antennas for small satellite applications.
3D Systems & Airbus Defence and Space Create Novel Passive RF Components for First Fully Reconfigurable Satellite
3D Systems’ AIG designed an end-to-end AM solution – comprising its DMP Factory 500, materials, software, and applications expertise – to deliver fully-qualified processes and components required for the large antenna array.
Our company has a strong partnership with 3D Systems and has relied on its team of application engineers to help us bring our most advanced designs to life. Everything from the quality of the parts produced using their printers, through to parts qualification, quality management, and overall project management have helped Airbus Defence and Space maintain its position as an industry leader.—Stephen Phipps, OneSat antenna program manager, Airbus Defence and Space
More Aerospace and Defense Applications
Learn More About Our Solutions for Passive RF Hardware Applications
DMP Factory 350 and DMP Factory 350 Dual
Scalable, high quality metal AM with integrated powder management