Rocket manufacturer utilises local 3D printing firm

Two Australian manufacturers have signed a Statement of Strategic Intent to grow the proportion of locally made components that make up rockets launched into space.

Gilmour Space Technologies, a rocket company based in Queensland, announced on October 3 that it has signed the statement with Titomic Limited, an industrial-scale additive manufacturing company in Victoria.

The statement will enable the two companies to work together to use 3D printed materials for rocket and space components.

According to co-founder and chief operating officer of Gilmour Space, James Gilmour, the partnership will allow for improvements to the components which make up the company’s rockets.

“Gilmour Space is developing new launch vehicles to support today’s global small satellite market, and this partnership could see us leveraging on Titomic’s innovative manufacturing processes to produce lighter and stronger components for our orbital launch vehicles,” said Gilmour.

3D printing, or additive manufacturing, has been a part of Gilmour Space Technologies’ development already, with 3D printed rocket fuel used in a test-launch in 2016.

“We welcome the opportunity to work with innovative companies like Titomic to help build a world-class space supply chain here in Australia, in line with the Australian Space Agency’s strategy and goals,” said Gilmour.

Speaking at D61+ Live, Adam Gilmour predicted that soon, the rockets that Gilmour Space Technologies launches will be made with 98 per cent Australian-made components.

Titomic also noted that their technologies could help reduce the barrier for launch vehicle manufacturers.

“Their plans for lower-cost access for launch satellites into space using affordable, high-performance rockets, combined with Titomic’s industrial scale additive manufacturing capability of super alloys from our Melbourne Bureau will help to realise this goal,” said Jeff Lang, managing director of Titomic.