CRP USA, founded in 2008, is strategically located in the heart of NASCAR country in North Carolina, and specializes in additive manufacturing and 3D printing applications with Windform materials. CRP USA manufactures on-car and wind tunnel components for racing teams. It has taken this expertise to new heights to produce parts for the space (Satellite and CubeSat structures), entertainment and automotive industries using Windform Additive Manufacturing. The Director of Operations of CRP USA is Stewart Davis, who has been working in the field of Additive Manufacturing for two decades. CRP USA has deep expertise in the technology of Selective Laser Sintering with Windform materials, developed in the late 1990s by CRP Technology, the Italian company part of the CRP Group.
CRP USA is serving several industries, the aim is to offer solutions to customers’ needs and problems: ‘Our customers challenge becomes our own, this is our motto and this is what we do. We make possible, applications that were impossible to pursue and this is thanks to our Windform materials that have changed the scenario of additive manufacturing’, states Stewart Davis.
CRP USA has rethought the use of additive manufacturing with Windform materials. In 2013 Windform XT 2.0 and Windform LX 2.0 were used by Kentucky Space Center to create a CubeSat that was launched into orbit successfully. The project of the KySat-2 was carried out by CRP USA together with Kentucky Space Center and the University of Kentucky and Morehead State University. In November 2013 the CubeSat KySat-2 was launched into orbit as part of the NASA ElaNa IV mission out of Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. There were several 3D printed components on the KySat-2 made by CRP USA with Windform XT 2.0. The 3D printed parts were produced using the additive manufacturing technology Selective Laser Sintering and Windform materials (http://www.windform.com). The additive manufactured process 3D printed the mounting hardware for the camera system, extensions for the separation switches, clips for holding the antennas in their stowed position, and the mounting bracket for the on board batteries. The process and the material were critical to achieve the right components for KySat-2. The material combines maximum toughness and robustness, yet produces an extremely light, final part that does not impact the overall production weight of the KySat-2 unit. KySat-2's main mission is to be an educational tool and demonstration for the students working on the satellite. KySat-2 was designed, built, and tested entirely by students and engineers, with most of the subsystems designed in-house.
This article appeared in the July/Aug issue of Reinforced Plastics.