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Romanian student team 3D printing experiment selected to be carried out in space

on 19 December 2019

A Romanian student team has qualified for the final of the ESA Rocket/Balloon Experiments for University Students (REXUS/BEXUS) programme. The contest offers teams of students the possibility to fly their experiments to the edge of space on a sounding rocket or stratospheric balloon. The project of the team based at Politehnica University of Bucharest was selected to be flown in space aboard the REXUS29 rocket that will be launched from Sweden in March 2021.

The project proposed by the Romanian team, called Ecrida, is „3D Printing by Curing Resin In-orbit using UV Digital Light Processing Apparatus, from the University Politehnica of Bucharest, Romania”.

„The aim of our experiment is to create a device that will be used to print 3D objects under microgravity conditions. The technology proposed by us is based on the phenomenon of solidification of the resins in the presence of UV radiation and we want to compare the specimens printed in space with those printed on Earth to better understand how this process works in the absence of gravity. We hope that our project will demonstrate the viability of this technology for future space missions”, said Radu-Andrei Cioacă, who is the leader of the student team.

The team is among only ten other such teams that was selected after a selection process that took place in November at ESTEC, ESA’s engineering and technology centre in The Netherlands, where the teams had to present their experiment proposals to a panel of experts.

The next step for the teams is to start developing their preliminary design, ready for review during a dedicated Student Training Week to be held in the arctic launch base in Northern Sweden, between 10–14 February 2020.

Read more about the contest here.

2019 12 REXUS B

 2019 12 REXUS C

Image credit: Ecrida Team