COSM Advanced Manufacturing Systems and NASA’s Langley Research Center are working to build an autonomous system for 3D printing of metal components in space using an electron beam gun technology.
The company received a new Small Business Innovation Research contract to manufacture and demonstrate the Electron Beam Freeform Fabrication tool with algorithms and sensors designed to monitor system performance without human intervention, NASA said Thursday.
Ipswich, Massachusetts-based COSM started the EBF3 technology development project with Langley researchers in 2014 under an initial SBIR award.
In 2020, the company received a follow-on contract that brought the total amount of grants from the agency to more than $6 million.
In its current form, EBF3 operators perform manual adjustments based on their own observation as the system performs additive manufacturing, metal cutting, illumination and high-resolution microscopic engineering tasks.
The partnership aims to certify the autonomous process to support structure production for human spaceflight missions, NASA noted.