Relativity is the only company dedicated to printing an entire launch vehicle. To that end, the company has created the world’s largest metal 3D printer platform, Stargate. At this time, we do not perform automatic, real-time defect detection, but the company has developed significant elements that when integrated together demonstrate the capability for real-time in-situ flaw detection. We use sensors and cameras to collect data on multi-dimension time series; real-time processing elements to review camera and time series data; and closed-feedback loops to modify print deposition parameters.
As part of our Phase II effort over the course of 24 months, we propose to mature our entire suite of sensors to a TRL of 6. To that end, we propose to:
The above work would be in line with our standing goal of using machine learning to automatically respond to a defect and remove/replace it.
Automatic defect detection are a key enabler for 3D printing off planet and as such has wide-ranging potential applications for NASA, including for in-situ manufacturing, on-demand manufacturing from feedstock, manufacturing objects that cannot be launched from Earth due either to payload fairing volume limits or launch loads, and the ability to design missions in novel ways to reduce cost. For example, mission elements not needed for ascent from Earth—such as habitat components—could be manufactured from a printer on the surface of the Moon.
Potential non-NASA applications include those in large, low-volume structures manufacturing, such as makers of industrial pipe, automotive equipment, real-time imaging, and non-destructive testing across the construction, oil, and gas industries.