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Meet the 3D Printed Parts That Are on Their Way to Mars

Additive manufacturing was the novelty and all the rage a decade ago. It is not talked about that often anymore, but that does not mean that the technology failed. On the contrary, it proved very successful, and today is a part of manufacturing mainstream. When in just over a week Mars-bound rover Perseverance makes the touchdown, a dozen parts that it is made of will be parts made by 3D printing processes. These parts are critical for its mission and will enable the rover collect valuable data.

Key Takeaways:

  • When the Perseverance rover touches down on Mars on February 18, it will carry with it almost a dozen metal 3D printed parts.
  • The 3D printed parts of the PIXL are its front and back cover, mounting frame, X-ray bench, and bench support.
  • To build the lightweight, durable housing components, NASA turned to Carpenter Additive, a supplier of metal powder and 3D printing production services.

“Mounted at the end of the rover’s cantilever arm, the PIXL will analyze rock and soil samples on the Red Planet’s surface to help assess the potential for life there.”

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