Manufacturing Environment

Build Surface

Build surfaces are used as the base for depositing 3D printed material. In microgravity, it is critical that parts are directly adhered to the build surface. The build surface is designed for quick removal and installation so that it may be easily swapped out.

Figure 3a. Build Surface.

Build Surface Interfaces

The build surface is the printing base. The build surface may also serve as the base for other processes. The interfaces below show the minimum design features required for the build surface to integrate with the AMF.

Physical Interfaces

The build surface is designed to be quickly removed from a build platform by simply removing four threaded screws. The alignment of the threaded hole is shown in Figure 3a. The length and width dimensions shall not exceed the values listed. The top surface does not necessarily need to be flat if there is a contour or geometry that is more suitable for the application.

Specifications and Technical Notes

For Hardware Designers

The build surface interface allows hardware designers to create new capabilities for existing space-based manufacturing platforms as well as capabilities that conform to new platforms as they come online. The drawing for the build surface provides a starting point for designers. The key design feature in the build surface are the through holes used to mount the build surface to the space-based manufacturing build environment. Hardware designers may develop a variety of build surface materials and surface treatments to provide new options for building parts upon.

For Software Engineers

The current build surface interface does not include a software aspect.

For Manufacturing Engineers

A general best practice when manufacturing the build surface is to abide by NASA Payload Safety Policy and Requirements for the International Space Station, document SSP 51700, in order to meet safety and human factors requirements. Since the build surface is a component that at some point may be handled by crew, certain design additions may need to be made to enable accessibility and ease of manipulation.

Material Properties

All materials will need to be approved for use on the intended host platform, such as International Space Station. The MSFC-HDBK-527 Material Selection List for Space Hardware Systems can be followed for material selection. Materials not currently in NASA’s Materials and Processes Technical Information System (MAPTIS) may need to be tested for Flammability and Outgassing per NASA-STD-6001.

Safety and Human Factors

Crew safety is paramount during on orbit operations. Safety processes per SSP 51700 shall be followed when designing new hardware.

Relevant Documents

MSFC-HDBK-527 Material Selection List for Space Hardware Systems

SSP 30237 Space Station Electromagnetic Emission and Susceptibility Requirements

SSP 51700 Payload Safety Policy and Requirements for the International Space Station

NASA-STD-6001, Test 7 Flammability, Odor, Offgassing, and compatibility Requirements and Test Procedures for Materials in Environments That Support Combustion