Laser additive manufacturing, 3D scanning will produce models of the Orion crew module

The SME (Dearborn, MI) worked with Lockheed Martin (Bethesda, MD), FARO Technologies (Lake Mary, FL), Direct Dimensions (Owings Mills, MD), Met-L-Flo (Sugar Grove, IL), the Florida Institute of Technology (Melbourne, FL), and Cincinnati Inc. (Harrison, OH) to take the first-ever 3D scan of the Orion crew module, which will later be produced as small-scale replicas using laser additive manufacturing.

NASA's Orion spacecraft is built to take humans farther into space than they've ever gone before. Orion will serve as the exploration vehicle that will carry astronauts to deep space, provide emergency abort capability, sustain and protect the crew, and provide safe re-entry from deep space return velocities. Orion will launch on NASA's new heavy-lift rocket, the Space Launch System.

The FARO Focus 3D X330 Scanner positioned to 3D laser-scan the Orion exterior capsule model. (Courtesy: SME)

FARO Technologies conducted a 3D laser scan of an Orion spacecraft model, while Direct Dimensions will be responsible for the file that is prepared and then produced by Met-L-Flo using additive manufacturing. Met-L-Flo will print approximately 150 small-scale replicas of the Orion spacecraft to be displayed and used as giveaways at SME's RAPID 2016 event, to take place May 16-19 in Orlando, FL. Students from the Florida Institute of Technology participated in the scan and discussed how the next generation of manufacturing professionals are being educated on advanced manufacturing technology and applications.

Additionally, Cincinnati Inc. will be using their Big Area Additive Manufacturing (BAAM) technology to print an Orion replica in several large pieces and assemble onsite at RAPID 2016.

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