MONTRÉAL—AON3D, a manufacturer of 3D printed end-use parts, recently secured $11.5 million in USD Series A funding and a partnership with Astrobotic for its historic Peregrine Moon Lander (PM1) mission, AON3D said in a release.
AON3D said it will use the funding to invest in 3D printing R&D and continue onboarding talent to support its growing enterprise. It will also help AON3D provide clients with “best-in-class support to achieve their 3D printing needs,” the company said.
The Astrobotic mission is set to become the first U.S. lunar lander to soft land on the moon since Apollo 17. Onboard are hundreds of 3D printed parts from the industrial AON3D M2+, poised to become the first additively manufactured end-use parts to successfully touch the moon. The lunar hardware includes 3D printed essential bracketry components, including fixtures within integral avionics boxes, which perform all mission-critical command and data handling for the lander, according to the release.
AON3D technology also created the capsules within DHL MoonBox, a light-weight vessel used to transport space-freight payloads for private citizens. The MoonBox is designed to withstand the harsh extremes of space and keep items safe on the lunar surface. AON3D said that it currently supplies printers for more than 250 customers, including Blue Origin, NASA, and the United States Air Force.
“Our printers’ ability to 3D print the lightest and strongest end-use parts—from virtually any of the highest-grade available thermoplastics—is what makes AON3D able to manufacture critical components for the most extreme use cases,” said AON3D CEO and Co-founder Kevin Han, in the release. “We believe the 3D printing future is more open source and financially accessible, so SMBs have access to the same hardware as top firms. That’s exactly how we modeled AON3D and constructed our AON M2+ printer. We have investors that believe in our vision, and partners like Astrobotic that place the highest trust in our hardware.”
“There is no environment as demanding as the vacuum of space, and we need parts that are able to withstand the immense challenges of launch and spaceflight,” said Astrobotic Mechanical Engineer Clay Inman, in the release. “Being able to go from full-scale, economical prototypes to space-ready parts—using PEEK, PEKK, and ULTEM™ on one machine—was huge for achieving our ambitious goals. Now, we can rigorously test our parts, create custom tooling, and then go right into printing proprietary, mission-ready components with engineering grade materials.”