An astronaut-shaped demonstration of 3D printing in the NL Space Tent during last Sunday’s ESA Open Day in the Netherlands.
More than 8700 visitors braved rain showers to attend the fifth Open Day in five years at ESA’s ESTEC technical centre in Noordwijk. Popular attractions included four astronauts, Rosetta scientist Matt Taylor recounting the mission’s final, daring landing and a spectacular replica of the ExoMars lander.
The NL Space Tent showcased the cutting-edge work of Dutch companies and research institutes within the space sector. The stand shown here belongs to West End, a 70 year-old Dutch engineering firm supporting aerospace test and simulation activities, which frequently includes the full-scale satellite testing performed at ESTEC.
The 22 cm-high astronaut seen here is being printed in biodegradable polyester, with a complete version seen to the right of the Ultimaker 2+ printer. The company typically uses 3D printing for scale modelling and test items – the black item seen in the right foreground is a scale model of a pilot’s ‘G-seat’ produced for a US customer.
For more picture highlights from the Open Day, click here.