The use of Additive Manufacturing (AM) processes for space applications is a constantly growing topic of interest from the main actors in the space industry. While most of the research & development work performed presently is focused on reproducing and optimizing designs of what could be described as “structural or massive parts”, little work related to the manufacturing of thin, flexible structures has been published up to now. In this particular context, usual weaknesses attributed to AM processes – such as surface roughness, material porosity & internal stresses, often leading to material anisotropy – may become showstoppers for the design of compliant mechanisms where these flexible structures are required.
European Conference on Spacecraft Structures, Materials and Environmental Testing, Toulouse (FR), pp. 15