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Additive Manufacturing DMP Parts for In-Space Satellite Engines

Additive Manufacturing DMP Parts for In-Space Satellite Engines

Communication satellites are essential for mobile internet and secured financial communication between banks, direct TV broadcasting, and earth observation for weather forecasting. 

In collaboration with the European Space Agency (ESA), 3D Systems produced injectors, combustion chambers and expansion nozzles representative of a bi-propellant communication satellite engine through Direct Metal Printing (DMP).

One of ESA’s roles is to oversee development of in-space satellite engine technologies. ESA is investigating the current state of metal Additive Manufacturing/Direct Metal Printing (DMP), assessing its potential and maturity in light of future engine developments. 


Previous Design of Combustion chamber incl. scaffold


New Design of Combustion chamber incl. scaffold


Innovative injector manifolding

“DMP offers innovative manifolding to optimize the flow from the propellant valve to the combustion chamber,” says Simon Hyde. Its design freedom enables ESA to reduce the number of injector assembly parts to 1, coming from more than 5 with conventional manufacturing; eliminating many risky sealing welds required to achieve reliable hydraulic injection operation; reducing cost and risk considerably. 

By acquiring full control over the AM production process, 3D Systems achieves a homogeneous micro structure with a relative density of up to 99.98%, for an increasing number of metal and alloys including titanium.

DMP increases design flexibility compared to traditional spin forming sheet metal, so engine performance can be tuned towards customer-specific thrust profiles.



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