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Canadore introduces additive manufacturing capabilities to companies building parts for space mining

Canadore College’s Innovation Centre for Advanced Manufacturing and Production (ICAMP) and Canada Makes are helping ensure Canada’s participation in the next stages of mining in space. Working with Ontario based Deltion Innovations and Atlas Copco, ICAMP introduced its additive manufacturing capability to produce prototype tool ends for a space mining multi-purpose tool, labeled PROMPT (Percussive and Rotary Multi-Purpose Tool). The device would prospect for water, ice and resources on the moon and beyond.

“For obvious reasons, this project was a dream to work on,” said Evan Butler-Jones, applied research lead at ICAMP. “The complexity of this undertaking made it both challenging and exciting. It is thrilling to participate in this small way to Canada’s efforts in developing the space mining industry.”

Canada Makes helped fund the eight-month project through its Metal Additive Demonstration Program. Butler-Jones had this to add, “Canada Makes funding was essential in proving the potential of additive for these tools, and led to further work completing the final parts. The final parts were a hybrid of additive with post machining of certain features.‎”

Deltion describes the combination drill and rotary multi-use tool as a “space-age Swiss Army knife.” One of the goals is to be able to drill mine for water and ice on the moon. It would also be used in robotic construction, maintenance and repair tasks.

Atlas and Deltion brought the PROMPT concept and tool designs to ICAMP for manufacturing and production. The Centre utilized its additive manufacturing resources, including its 3D metal printer the EOS M290 and computer numerical control equipment, to prototype the commissioned parts.

Canadians to develop space mining tool

Artist rendition of a mining operation in space. (Screenshot via YouTube)

“Deltion has been working on space mining technologies for almost two decades,” said Dale Boucher, CEO of Deltion Innovations. “The use of additive manufacturing is a means to develop the complex geometries required for the tool ends of PROMPT. We are very pleased with the results of this project and we look forward to a continued collaboration with ICAMP.”

The finalized products were delivered to Deltion Innovations, who will be testing the multi-purpose tool for future deep space applications with an eye on the moon, the asteroids and even Mars.

About Deltion Innovations
Deltion Innovations Ltd. is an award winning mining equipment Design Company.  The highly skilled team of professionals has been designing and fabricating drilling and excavation technology for more than a decade, specializing in transferring and adapting technologies developed in the space sector to the terrestrial market and vice versa. www.deltion.ca

About ICAMP
Canadore College’s Innovation Centre for Advanced Manufacturing and Production (ICAMP) consists of 13, 300 sq. ft. of industrial lab and design space capable of helping small- and medium-sized enterprises conceptualize, design, prototype, test and manufacture products. The Centre includes a large boardroom and 12-seat 3D theatre and specializes in additive manufacturing, precision 3D scanning, design and simulation software, CNC manufacturing, robotics, microscopy, destructive material testing, and non-destructive material testing. Resources include EOS and Stratasys equipment, Creaform scanning equipment, 3DS Solidworks, Solidthinking Inspire and Geomagics, 9-axis machining centre, waterjet cutting, YuMi robot, scanning electron microscope, multiple optical microscopes and more www.canadorecollege.ca

About Canada Makes
A Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME) initiative, Canada Makes is a network of private, public, academic, and non-profit entities dedicated to promoting the adoption and development of additive manufacturing in Canada. For more information on Canada Makes, please visit www.canadamakes.ca or contact Frank Defalco at frank.defalco@cme-mec.ca

The Metal Additive Manufacturing Demonstration Program is funding by NRC-IRAP and is designed to help Canadian industries increase awareness and assist in understanding the advantages of the metal additive manufacturing (AM) technology. Canada Makes works with a group of AM experts who provide participating companies guidance of the advantages and business opportunities in terms of cost savings and efficiencies of AM.

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