3D Printing Industrial Placement - STFC
Edinburgh, City of Edinburgh, Scotland
5d ago

Science and Technology Facilities Council

The UKATC is the UK's national laboratory for the design and development of astronomical instrumentation. The UKATC has a rich heritage of instrumentation development for ground-based observatories as well as space facilities.

It employs a broad spectrum of engineers and scientists across the full range of disciplines required for contemporary astronomy (optical design, mechanical engineering, electronics, software, systems engineering, project management).

It also has an extensive track record of successfully applying techniques and technologies developed for astronomy to other sectors (e.

g. earth observation / remote sensing, environmental monitoring). The UKATC develops instruments for world leading organisations, such as the European Southern Observatory (ESO), the European Space Agency (ESA) and NASA.

AM4Space is a multidisciplinary team that works alongside the Project Science Group, Optics Group and the Mechanical Engineering Group at the UKATC.

The motivation behind AM4Space is to explore the design freedom offered by additive manufacture (AM; 3D printing) and how astronomical components can be redesigned to take advantage of AM specifically telescope mirrors.

  • The AM4Space team aims to solve some of the fundamental challenges inherent to AM that have so far prevented wider uptake of AM within the astronomical community, such as mechanical performance, particularly within harsh environments;
  • optical performance of AM substrates; and linking design for AM with design for manufacture.

    Summary of Key Duties &


    As an AM4Space Industry Student, this opportunity will work in parallel with a current UKATC project team to redesign a key component for AM.

    Potential projects identified include the redesign of a deployable Cubesat mirror and the redesign of a three mirror assembly structure for an ESO ELT (Extremely Large Telescope) instrument.

    In both projects the motivation is to reduce the weight and the part count of the component.

    Anticipated duties include :

  • Using computer aided design (CAD) and AM specific software to redesign the astronomical component to incorporate the benefits of AM
  • Using finite element analysis (FEA) to assess the redesigned component to ensure the design meets the requirements
  • Collaborating with the Engineering Support Group to ensure that the design can be both printed and machined
  • Coordinating the manufacture of the redesigned component
  • Evaluating the performance of the AM component and how it compares to the original conventional design
  • Creation of a project report intended for an external audience
  • In order to apply for this role you must have :

    Essential :

  • At university, enrolled on an undergraduate degree course and required or have requested to take a year out of studies to gain experience within industry
  • Right to live and work in the UK
  • Enrolled on a Mechanical Engineering degree (or similar)
  • An understanding of engineering drawings and 3D modelling, coupled with a desire to learn 3D computer aided design software
  • An enthusiasm for additive manufacture linked with an interest in astronomy or space science
  • Good interpersonal and communication skills; demonstrated by an ability to work with a broad range of individuals to achieve a goal
  • Desirable :

  • Knowledge of best practice design and / or analysis techniques, e.g. use of appropriate mechanical tolerances, or assessing the quality of measurement data
  • Experience in using 3D printing, either in design and / or via hands-on printing
  • Knowledge of finite element analysis and its use relating to mechanical design
  • An interest in public engagement
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