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PAGE 1
Inventing the Telescope of the Future
with MakerBot’s Professional Solutions
Discover How Lockheed Martin’s Engineers Rely on MakerBot’s Professional Solutions
to Efficiently and Cost-Effectively Develop Radical New Designs for Space Telescopes
PAGE 2
Lockheed Martin is a world-renowned
company with a long legacy of
achievements in aerospace, defense, and
emerging technologies. For this global
leader, tackling complex challenges,
pushing the limits of scientific exploration,
and devising innovative solutions are all
part of its DNA. So it’s no surprise that the
U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects
Agency (DARPA) selected an elite team of
scientists and engineers from Lockheed
Martin’s Advanced Technology Center (ATC)
to create a potentially revolutionary design
for a new, futuristic space telescope.
Because of traditional optical systems,
today’s space telescopes are heavy,
astronomically expensive, and bulky. In line
with the project’s requirements, DARPA’s
version would have to be lighter, and less
expensive to send into space. It would
also have to be adaptable and even more
powerful. As the ATC team soon discovered,
the fundamental principles of telescope
design would need to be reconceived.
To tackle the challenge, the ATC needed
to create a new, vastly condensed optical
technology. It also needed a cost-effective,
fast means of creating prototypes that
would help the team understand how to
implement this technology. With the help of
researchers at the University of California
at Davis, the ATC co-developed SPIDER, or
the Segmented Planar Imaging Detector
for Electro-optical Reconnaissance. And
with the help of MakerBot’s professional
solutions, the team rapidly and easily
iterated on designs for prototypes.
Making New
Technologies Viable
through Faster
Iterative Design
3D-printed prototype of disk for SPIDER,
showing a radial configuration of lenslets.
PAGE 3
The Groundwork for
Designing a
New Telescope
To redesign the telescope from the ground up,
the ATC chose a relatively new technique for
collecting light, known as interferometry. In
the world of optics, this technique uses many
tiny lenses to collect photons which are then
processed via microchips to create a
high-resolution image.
Partnering with experts at UC Davis, the ATC
co- developed a special silicon chip to channel
light fed from tiny lenses. ATC’s new system
could reduce the size, weight, and power
needed for optics by 10 to 100 times while
offering similar resolution. As an array, SPIDER
is cheaper, faster to produce, and lighter than
the optics in traditional telescopes, making the
technology easier to send into space.
The SPIDER imaging technology can be fitted
to any number of flat shapes, however the
best arrangement for a particular purpose will
depend on the context of the application, the
object or vehicle it’s mounted on, and tradeoffs
between spaceflight efficiency and light
collection. To explore and test these concepts,
ATC engineers designed different SPIDER arrays
in Solidworks, then prototyped them to further
refine and iterate on their models.
Artist’s Concept
Testing equipment at the Advanced Technology Center in Palo
Alto, California helps simulate images the instrument would
see, process, and regenerate.
PAGE 4
Beyond prototyping SPIDER arrays, the team’s
Replicator Mini is also an effective field 3D printer
for when the engineers travel to different testing
facilities. “When we test smaller rockets, the nose
cones blow off and are mostly unrecoverable, so we
bring the Mini to the launch site and print different
nose cones on the spot,” Zalawadia elaborates.
MakerBot’s filament has also proved beneficial.
With new materials like MakerBot Tough PLA,
ATC’s engineers can make entirely new products
and applications possible, such as high-quality
snapping joints Chriqui calls flextures. Whereas
these flexible hinges and joints would normally fail
when printed as PLA, they function well with Tough
PLA, allowing the team to print prototypes that are
closer to the final product. In testing the SPIDER
technology, the team also found that MakerBot
True Black PLA at 100-percent infill is perfect for
absorbing light. Good light absorption is important
so there is no light leakage that can affect optical
tests. They also use neon MakerBot PLA filament to
highlight specific parts of a print.
When Chriqui and Zalawadia had the opportunity
to test the MakerBot Print platform, they
appreciated its added efficiency, especially for
assisting coworkers with ad hoc 3D printing
requests. The Auto Arrange and multi-printer
control features were used for setting up different
projects on multiple build plates and sending them
to different printers. With MakerBot Print’s Native
CAD feature, ATC engineers can also work in their
preferred program and file format, without the
hassle of creating STLs or converting files, and then
share files to easily collaborate.
MakerBot’s professional solutions have allowed
Guy Chriqui, Senior Research Engineer at the ATC,
and Sutyen Zalawadia, Mechatronics Engineer, to
quickly accelerate the iterative design process and
cost-effectively prototype for SPIDER on their own.
Outsourcing any of this work just wasn’t an option,
as Chriqui explains: “We would get quotes in the
thousands of dollars with an eight-week lead time
for just one version of a model — I can’t imagine
what 14 versions would cost.”
Chriqui and his team also have a cutting-edge
machine shop in house, but the MakerBot 3D
printers nearby allow the SPIDER team to iterate
new versions in only hours. Plus, since the ATC
has many sensitive projects, outsourcing work to
contractors would not just slow down projects and
increase costs, it would also require approvals and
paperwork that could be avoided by turning to a
MakerBot a few feet away.
By accelerating the design process, MakerBot
Desktop 3D printers have bolstered scientific
experiments, enabling more tests, more insights,
and more potential breakthroughs in a shorter
period of time. Moving more quickly from ideation
to iteration and refinement gives engineers a big
competitive advantage, helping deliver better
solutions faster to clients.
No stranger to MakerBot, the ATC used the
Replicator 2 and 2X to prototype parts and tooling
for the James Webb Space Telescope back in
2013. They have since updated with the Replicator
(5th Gen), Mini, Z18, and now the Replicator+ and
Replicator Mini+ — or “the full MakerBot lineup,”
Chriqui notes jokingly. “They’re basically running
non-stop, all day long, and have enabled a lot
of really quick iterations for parts that may have
otherwise slowed completion of the final product.”
Accelerating
Scientific Discovery
Electro-Optical Engineer, Katherine Badham adjusts instruments
on an optical bench used for SPIDER testing.
PAGE 5
MakerBot’s solutions for professionals assist in
everything from rapidly prototyping different
concept models to printing in the field to testing
to even printing functional, custom tools on
demand. ATC engineers save time and money by
integrating these solutions into their workflow.
When the team’s experiments required a custom
tool that couldn’t be bought off the shelf, they
were able to design it themselves and print 14
different iterations in a single day. “Some little
tools that were printed over a year ago are still
in use in the lab,” Zalawadia remarks. Producing
conceptual and functional models at such a high
quality that they can remain in use over a year
later is just one of the cost savings MakerBot’s
professional solutions offer.
With MakerBot 3D Printers — the only FDM
printers at the ATC— the team has dramatically
sped up its product development cycle. Even
though the ATC has access to industry-leading
machine shops and advanced manufacturing
technology, MakerBot’s professional solutions
add distinct advantages to the ATC’s workflow
that the Center’s other resources can’t. The
ATC’s success using these solutions highlights
MakerBot’s disruption of traditional rapid
prototyping, a vastly more expensive and
laborious process than desktop 3D printing.
Redefining Space
Exploration
With the breakthroughs achieved at the ATC,
the SPIDER team can continue its mission
to engineer telescopes that are lighter, more
powerful, and much cheaper; telescopes that
could one day travel farther, explore distant
planets at high resolution, and look deeper into
the endless depths of space.
Developing Higher-Quality Solutions
Faster and at Lower Cost
Pictured from Left to Right: Research engineers Guy Chriqui and Sutyen Zalawadia use 3D-printed
prototypes almost daily in their development work.
PAGE 6
About Lockheed Martin
and the Advanced
Technology Center
Based in Bethesda, Maryland, Lockheed Martin is
one of the largest aerospace, security, and
advanced technology companies in the world. As
one of its largest divisions, Lockheed Martin Space
Systems has a large presence in Silicon Valley,
including Palo Alto, California, which is home to the
highly specialized, Advanced Technology Center
(ATC). The ATC serves commercial, government,
and defense aerospace customers by developing
complex technological solutions that are both
guided by practical business concerns and backed
by deep expertise in space science and engineering.
While Lockheed Martin operates in more than 70
countries and territories, it largely conducts
business with U.S. and allied government agencies.
Landmark projects like NASA’s Viking probes,
Titan rockets, and the Spitzer Space Telescope
are just a few examples of how Lockheed Martin’s
contributions have helped cement the United
States’ position as a global leader in science and
space exploration.
The views, opinions and/or findings expressed are those of the author(s)
and should not be interpreted as reflecting the official views or policies
of the Department of Defense or the U.S. Government.
Approved for Public Release, Distribution Unlimited
About MakerBot
MakerBot is a global leader in the 3D printing
industry. Our mission is to advance tomorrow’s
innovators and institutions by empowering the
professionals, educators, and students of today.
We offer connected solutions that address the
wider needs of professionals and educators. We
provide a faster more effective way for engineers
and designers to test ideas and for educators to
prepare students for the jobs of tomorrow.
Founded in 2009 in Brooklyn, NY, MakerBot
strives to redefine the standards for reliability and
ease-of-use. Through this dedication, we have
one of the largest installed bases in the industry
and run Thingiverse, the largest 3D printing
community in the world.

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Lockheed Martin Case Study Makerbot

  • 1. PAGE 1 Inventing the Telescope of the Future with MakerBot’s Professional Solutions Discover How Lockheed Martin’s Engineers Rely on MakerBot’s Professional Solutions to Efficiently and Cost-Effectively Develop Radical New Designs for Space Telescopes
  • 2. PAGE 2 Lockheed Martin is a world-renowned company with a long legacy of achievements in aerospace, defense, and emerging technologies. For this global leader, tackling complex challenges, pushing the limits of scientific exploration, and devising innovative solutions are all part of its DNA. So it’s no surprise that the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) selected an elite team of scientists and engineers from Lockheed Martin’s Advanced Technology Center (ATC) to create a potentially revolutionary design for a new, futuristic space telescope. Because of traditional optical systems, today’s space telescopes are heavy, astronomically expensive, and bulky. In line with the project’s requirements, DARPA’s version would have to be lighter, and less expensive to send into space. It would also have to be adaptable and even more powerful. As the ATC team soon discovered, the fundamental principles of telescope design would need to be reconceived. To tackle the challenge, the ATC needed to create a new, vastly condensed optical technology. It also needed a cost-effective, fast means of creating prototypes that would help the team understand how to implement this technology. With the help of researchers at the University of California at Davis, the ATC co-developed SPIDER, or the Segmented Planar Imaging Detector for Electro-optical Reconnaissance. And with the help of MakerBot’s professional solutions, the team rapidly and easily iterated on designs for prototypes. Making New Technologies Viable through Faster Iterative Design 3D-printed prototype of disk for SPIDER, showing a radial configuration of lenslets.
  • 3. PAGE 3 The Groundwork for Designing a New Telescope To redesign the telescope from the ground up, the ATC chose a relatively new technique for collecting light, known as interferometry. In the world of optics, this technique uses many tiny lenses to collect photons which are then processed via microchips to create a high-resolution image. Partnering with experts at UC Davis, the ATC co- developed a special silicon chip to channel light fed from tiny lenses. ATC’s new system could reduce the size, weight, and power needed for optics by 10 to 100 times while offering similar resolution. As an array, SPIDER is cheaper, faster to produce, and lighter than the optics in traditional telescopes, making the technology easier to send into space. The SPIDER imaging technology can be fitted to any number of flat shapes, however the best arrangement for a particular purpose will depend on the context of the application, the object or vehicle it’s mounted on, and tradeoffs between spaceflight efficiency and light collection. To explore and test these concepts, ATC engineers designed different SPIDER arrays in Solidworks, then prototyped them to further refine and iterate on their models. Artist’s Concept Testing equipment at the Advanced Technology Center in Palo Alto, California helps simulate images the instrument would see, process, and regenerate.
  • 4. PAGE 4 Beyond prototyping SPIDER arrays, the team’s Replicator Mini is also an effective field 3D printer for when the engineers travel to different testing facilities. “When we test smaller rockets, the nose cones blow off and are mostly unrecoverable, so we bring the Mini to the launch site and print different nose cones on the spot,” Zalawadia elaborates. MakerBot’s filament has also proved beneficial. With new materials like MakerBot Tough PLA, ATC’s engineers can make entirely new products and applications possible, such as high-quality snapping joints Chriqui calls flextures. Whereas these flexible hinges and joints would normally fail when printed as PLA, they function well with Tough PLA, allowing the team to print prototypes that are closer to the final product. In testing the SPIDER technology, the team also found that MakerBot True Black PLA at 100-percent infill is perfect for absorbing light. Good light absorption is important so there is no light leakage that can affect optical tests. They also use neon MakerBot PLA filament to highlight specific parts of a print. When Chriqui and Zalawadia had the opportunity to test the MakerBot Print platform, they appreciated its added efficiency, especially for assisting coworkers with ad hoc 3D printing requests. The Auto Arrange and multi-printer control features were used for setting up different projects on multiple build plates and sending them to different printers. With MakerBot Print’s Native CAD feature, ATC engineers can also work in their preferred program and file format, without the hassle of creating STLs or converting files, and then share files to easily collaborate. MakerBot’s professional solutions have allowed Guy Chriqui, Senior Research Engineer at the ATC, and Sutyen Zalawadia, Mechatronics Engineer, to quickly accelerate the iterative design process and cost-effectively prototype for SPIDER on their own. Outsourcing any of this work just wasn’t an option, as Chriqui explains: “We would get quotes in the thousands of dollars with an eight-week lead time for just one version of a model — I can’t imagine what 14 versions would cost.” Chriqui and his team also have a cutting-edge machine shop in house, but the MakerBot 3D printers nearby allow the SPIDER team to iterate new versions in only hours. Plus, since the ATC has many sensitive projects, outsourcing work to contractors would not just slow down projects and increase costs, it would also require approvals and paperwork that could be avoided by turning to a MakerBot a few feet away. By accelerating the design process, MakerBot Desktop 3D printers have bolstered scientific experiments, enabling more tests, more insights, and more potential breakthroughs in a shorter period of time. Moving more quickly from ideation to iteration and refinement gives engineers a big competitive advantage, helping deliver better solutions faster to clients. No stranger to MakerBot, the ATC used the Replicator 2 and 2X to prototype parts and tooling for the James Webb Space Telescope back in 2013. They have since updated with the Replicator (5th Gen), Mini, Z18, and now the Replicator+ and Replicator Mini+ — or “the full MakerBot lineup,” Chriqui notes jokingly. “They’re basically running non-stop, all day long, and have enabled a lot of really quick iterations for parts that may have otherwise slowed completion of the final product.” Accelerating Scientific Discovery Electro-Optical Engineer, Katherine Badham adjusts instruments on an optical bench used for SPIDER testing.
  • 5. PAGE 5 MakerBot’s solutions for professionals assist in everything from rapidly prototyping different concept models to printing in the field to testing to even printing functional, custom tools on demand. ATC engineers save time and money by integrating these solutions into their workflow. When the team’s experiments required a custom tool that couldn’t be bought off the shelf, they were able to design it themselves and print 14 different iterations in a single day. “Some little tools that were printed over a year ago are still in use in the lab,” Zalawadia remarks. Producing conceptual and functional models at such a high quality that they can remain in use over a year later is just one of the cost savings MakerBot’s professional solutions offer. With MakerBot 3D Printers — the only FDM printers at the ATC— the team has dramatically sped up its product development cycle. Even though the ATC has access to industry-leading machine shops and advanced manufacturing technology, MakerBot’s professional solutions add distinct advantages to the ATC’s workflow that the Center’s other resources can’t. The ATC’s success using these solutions highlights MakerBot’s disruption of traditional rapid prototyping, a vastly more expensive and laborious process than desktop 3D printing. Redefining Space Exploration With the breakthroughs achieved at the ATC, the SPIDER team can continue its mission to engineer telescopes that are lighter, more powerful, and much cheaper; telescopes that could one day travel farther, explore distant planets at high resolution, and look deeper into the endless depths of space. Developing Higher-Quality Solutions Faster and at Lower Cost Pictured from Left to Right: Research engineers Guy Chriqui and Sutyen Zalawadia use 3D-printed prototypes almost daily in their development work.
  • 6. PAGE 6 About Lockheed Martin and the Advanced Technology Center Based in Bethesda, Maryland, Lockheed Martin is one of the largest aerospace, security, and advanced technology companies in the world. As one of its largest divisions, Lockheed Martin Space Systems has a large presence in Silicon Valley, including Palo Alto, California, which is home to the highly specialized, Advanced Technology Center (ATC). The ATC serves commercial, government, and defense aerospace customers by developing complex technological solutions that are both guided by practical business concerns and backed by deep expertise in space science and engineering. While Lockheed Martin operates in more than 70 countries and territories, it largely conducts business with U.S. and allied government agencies. Landmark projects like NASA’s Viking probes, Titan rockets, and the Spitzer Space Telescope are just a few examples of how Lockheed Martin’s contributions have helped cement the United States’ position as a global leader in science and space exploration. The views, opinions and/or findings expressed are those of the author(s) and should not be interpreted as reflecting the official views or policies of the Department of Defense or the U.S. Government. Approved for Public Release, Distribution Unlimited About MakerBot MakerBot is a global leader in the 3D printing industry. Our mission is to advance tomorrow’s innovators and institutions by empowering the professionals, educators, and students of today. We offer connected solutions that address the wider needs of professionals and educators. We provide a faster more effective way for engineers and designers to test ideas and for educators to prepare students for the jobs of tomorrow. Founded in 2009 in Brooklyn, NY, MakerBot strives to redefine the standards for reliability and ease-of-use. Through this dedication, we have one of the largest installed bases in the industry and run Thingiverse, the largest 3D printing community in the world.