Identification and Significance of Innovation: The goal of this program is to demonstrate the use of Ultrasonic Additive Manufacturing (UAM) for the repair of a damaged structure or to build a new structure. UAM allows for 3D printing metals in space with very low energy, relatively low pressure, low temperatures, and the flexibility to print a myriad of different metals and metal combinations. The ultimately envisioned end-product is a UAM ultrasonic weld head that incorporates metal material feed through while on a robotic arm. This will provide off earth repairs at 97% of original material properties.
NASA researchers have an interest for in-space welding capability that is autonomous, and which enables on-orbit servicing, assembly, and manufacturing. This is needed for longer space missions such as a lunar base and missions to Mars which cannot rely on Earth for easy replenishment.
Fabrisonic already has interest from a number of customers for a mobile ultrasonic repair system. There are a wide range of potential uses for all kinds of metals that degrade (e.g., corrode) in the
field but which cannot get hot or be taken out of service. UAM has traction within the DoD-USMC for expeditionary repair and