Branch Technology Leads NASA Competition With Support From Techmer PM Materials
NASA announced the first winners of the Phase 2: Level 1 Compression Test Competition, in which seven teams worked on technology that could be used to develop future habitats from materials on other worlds. Awards of $100,000 were made to the two top-scoring teams from Phase 2. Branch Technology and Foster+Partners, a global architectural and design firm, earned $85,930. The balance of the prize went to The University of Alaska Fairbanks.
“We knew we needed experts in materials design to be successful, and Techmer PM would be the best partner,” said Platt Boyd, CEO of Branch Technology. “They have tremendous experience in 3-D printing, they’re innovative, and they like to collaborate in solving tough problems with their customers.” The Level 1 Compression Test Competition is the first of three sub-competitions within Phase 2. With $1.1 million in total prizes available, this phase focuses on methods and materials needed to create structural components for 3-D printed habitats on Earth and beyond, according to the NASA website.
“Seeing tangible, 3-D-printed objects for this phase makes the goals of this challenge more conceivable than ever,” said Monsi Roman, program manager of NASA’S Centennial Challenges Program. “This is the first step toward building an entire habitat structure, and the potential to use this technology to aid human exploration to new worlds is thrilling.”
“When Branch Technology approached us with this project, we knew this would be exacting,” said John Manuck, chairman and CEO of Techmer PM. “After reading the brief, we couldn’t wait to get started. Branch Technology is on the leading edge of 3-D construction, and we were sure that together, we could design materials to meet NASA’s specifications.”
Branch Technology and Techmer PM are working on Level 2, a full-size 3-D printed beam, for submission May 31, 2017.
About Techmer PM
Techmer PM is a leading materials design company that works in partnership with plastics processors, OEMs, and designers to solve some of their most difficult business, manufacturing, and sustainability challenges. The company’s solutions modify the aesthetics as well as extend and maintain the physical properties of plastic products. The company designs custom solutions for customers to maximize performance through collaboration and by leveraging its leading-edge technology. Techmer PM was recognized by Plastics News on its “Best Places to Work” list in 2014, 2016, and 2017. Learn more by visiting techmerpm.com.
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