In the wake of recent commercial space flight successes, either with sub-orbital human flights or orbital satellite launches, SpaceX is looking to significantly and further expand its additive manufacturing activities. The company is specifically looking for an Additive Manufacturing manager, a professional figure that will manage the engineering development and operations teams and the delivery of production hardware in order to satisfy customer demand of an engine every 4 hours with zero issues.
AM adoption in the space and aerospace segments continues to grow, as highlighted in 3dpbm’s latest AM Focus 2021 Aerospace eBook. Space X is targeting future additive expansion and production rate increase at all of its sites. In particular, the new Additive Manufacturing Manager is expected to help all teams working with AM to focus on design simplification and consolidation of subassemblies. In order to accelerate the adoption of AM, he or she is also asked to identify process improvement and modifications to develop strategies, increase efficiency, and improve upon existing company objectives.
Specifically, the objective is to optimize scheduling, output, elimination of quality defects, cost reduction, and technician-led safety initiatives. As an expert of AM processes, he or she will also provide professional and technical guidance and mentorship to leaders, engineers, and technicians in the team. The fact that SpaceX is looking at serious production via AM is also highlighted by the company’s objective to ensure adequate focus is spread across printing optimization, especially in terms of zero machine downtime, as well as efficient and rapid post-processing. The Additive Manufacturing Manager is tasked with minimizing work in progress while making sure that all internal teams using AM have all the appropriate levels of consumables on hand.