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Case Study

Air Force optimizes cubesat using Architected Materials

Air Force CubeSat Stats


Weight reduction


Increase in stiffness


Parts consolidated


Reduction in failure locations


Increase in stiffness

Inconel 718


Concept Laser M2


Lightweighting Additive Manufacturing Architected Materials



Researchers at the U.S. Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT) have leveraged advanced computation engineering and software to help reduce weight, part count, delivery lead time and increase the stiffness of a CubeSat bus. They chose nTopology to realize their engineering design needs.

“Employing nTopology’s direct-to-manufacture technology it was possible to realize a structure that was half the weight…with a 20% increase in stiffness. By designing specifically for additive manufacturing, the researchers were able to reduce the number of parts in their bus design from 150 to less than 25, which represents a 6x reduction in possible failure locations due to vibration-induced loosening of fasteners.”
Ryan O’Hara – Director of Aerospace and Defense, nTopology

Utilizing nTopology, AFIT was able to reach all goals for the project. Their team designed with architected materials in order to make a lighter and stronger structural bus. Additionally, by performing a design of experiments (DOE) within nTopology the AFIT team identified the highest stiffness-to-weight structure quickly.

Cubesat Design Manufactured in nTop Platform using Architected Materials Toolkit

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