ESA AM Benchmarking Centre

ESA AM Benchmarking Centre

The European Space Agency (ESA) is embracing additive manufacturing by setting up a new UK-based ‘one-stop-shop’ in partnership with the National Centre for Additive Manufacturing (NCAM).

The ESA Additive Manufacturing Benchmarking Centre (AMBC) is based at the NCAM and provides a simple and easy way for ESA projects and hi-tech companies to investigate the potential of additive manufacturing for their work.

The move sees ESA call on the expertise of the NCAM, which is at the forefront of additive manufacturing and offers access to the latest state-of-the-art AM capabilities, allowing prototype parts to be produced and then assessed in terms of their suitability for specific applications.

ESA projects and interested industrial companies can investigate this new engineering world to the point where they will take a decision to proceed further.

The NCAM facility maintains a comprehensive portfolio of materials, machines and post-processing options, which enables the AMBC to print a variety of test hardware, using polymers, metal and ceramic AM printers.

Follow-up testing, including detailed failure investigations, supplies customers with a more complete understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of their chosen AM printing method, along with advice on future improvements.

All test results generated by the AMBC are published in a Europe-wide newsletter, to spread its know-how as widely as possible, and consolidate European leadership in additive manufacturing.