Additive manufacturing in space applications
Christo's research focuses on design and qualification of products in space applications manufactured using metal additive manufacturing (AM), or 3D printing. In the spring of 2020 Christo received his PhD with the dissertation "Qualification Aspects in Design for Additive Manufacturing". Within industry, Christo has worked with development of components for rocket engines at GKN Aerospace in Trollhättan, Sweden.
AM brings the possibility to design products with complex geometries, optimised topology and integrated functions, which is alluring for the space industry with its high-risk products in low volume production. At the same time, process instability and material defects impede the immediate use of AM in mission critical components that are not allowed to fail. Space applications are especially exposed since there is no way to repair or replace damaged parts.
Product quality in AM is a question of understanding the product design AND controlling the AM process. An understanding of the possibilities and limitations of the AM process is needed to fully utilize AM in the development of new and innovative products. The aim of Christo's research is to contribute to the industrialization of AM in space applications by understanding the important steps in the design and qualification of AM products.