Thales Alenia Space and 3D Systems Prove Viability of Direct Metal Printing

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3D Systems’ On Demand Manufacturing team delivers critical 3D printed metal satellite parts that are 25% lighter and ready in half the time of traditional production techniques.

In his best-selling 2000 book, Malcolm Gladwell defines a tipping point as “the moment of critical mass, the threshold, the boiling point.”

By that definition, direct metal printing (DMP) is standing on the precipice, as it moves rapidly from prototyping to production for mission-critical, risk-averse applications in defense and aerospace, where nothing is left to chance.

An example of this mainstream acceptance is a long-term partnership between 3D Systems and Thales Alenia Space to leverage DMP for aerospace components.

Thales Alenia Space, based in Toulouse, France, is one of the leading aerospace suppliers in the world, with revenues topping 2 billion Euros in 2014. The company has 7,500 employees in eight countries, specializing in space telecommunications, navigation, Earth observation, exploration and orbital infrastructures.

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