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“3D4Space – Additive manufacturing processes for innovative space travel”

Sponsor: EFRE + the State of Lower Saxony

Contact person: Lisa Windisch

Summary of the overall project:

The research project “3D4Space – Additive manufacturing processes for innovative space travel” is funded by the State of Lower Saxony and the European Union (EFRE) within the framework of an innovation network. The main research focus of the project is the development and demonstration of sustainable additive manufacturing processes for space travel as well as technology, knowledge and product transfer for terrestrial applications.
Currently, aerospace is undergoing global dynamic growth driven by new technologies and easier access to space. In the course of this development and the foreseeable end of the operational life of the International Space Station ISS, space research is increasingly concentrating on longer distant targets. To allow the permanent presence of man on the moon, technologies are needed which are able to use local resources and recycle existing material. Known as being very environmentally- and resource-friendly, additive manufacturing processes – colloquially known as “3D-Printing” – are predestined for the highly-efficient aerospace sector. It allows to directly-process components, consumables or whole habitats (Moon Villages) on-the-spot without tools or generation of waste. This so-called in-situ use of resources plays a decisive role in aerospace which is always limited by the use of available materials. Furthermore, these energy- and resource-saving technologies, materials and recycling concepts have a huge potential for countless new earthbound fields of application, for instance, in lightweight construction, electromobility or in the sectors of innovative sustainable materials and recycling of composite materials.

Goals and tasks of iPAT

  • Selection and development of suitable particle systems and polymer materials for additive manufacturing processes
  • Establishment of a process chain in different dimensions for the production of lunar regolith simulant systems via process engineering unit operations
  • Dispersion and formulation of filled polymer composites and investigation of the processes and associated mechanisms
  • Additive manufacturing of nanoparticulate polymer composite specimens and products from filled filaments and characterization of the properties with various established and novel methods
  • Consideration of new process technologies for the further processing of recycled materials
    Project partners

    University partners:

  • Institute of Space Systems (iras) at the TU Braunschweig
  • Institute for Engineering Design (IK) at the TU Braunschweig
  • Institute for Transportation Design (ITD) at the Braunschweig University of Art (HBK)
  • Institute for Recycling (IfR) at the Ostfalia University of Applied Sciences
    Industry partners:

  • IGAP Ingenieurgesellschaft für angewandte Polymertechnik mbH

    Team Members

    Current Projects
    DEFACTO: Battery design and manufacturing optimisation through multiphysic modelling more

    HIPO STACK: High Power Redox Flow Stacks more

    Simulation based modelling of time- and shear-dependent disperse and rheological properties of cement suspensions more

    3D4Space – Additive manufacturing technologies for innovative space travel – „printing on the moon“ more

    Nanofluidics & Particle manipulation – Production and characterization of metrological, hierarchical nano- and microstructures more

    FOR 2021 “Active principles of nanoscale matrix additives for fibre reinforced lightweight structures” more

    Dynamic Process Models for Fine Grinding and Dispersing more


    Finished Projects
    Processing of nanoparticles out of poorly water-soluble drugs by precipitation and drying using microsystems more