Advanced Manufacturing

ESA’s Advanced Manufacturing Initiative has the main objective of identifying and spinning-in the space business disruptive materials and manufacturing processes readily available in the current European industrial landscape
For any enquiries about Advanced Manufacturing, please refer to the assigned contact:

Graham Coe

Head of Structures Section

Thomas Rohr

Materials and Processes Section

This ESA cross-cutting initiative in detail has the goals of:

Creating new high performance space products by actively reducing the limitations imposed by the traditional manufacturing processes/concepts

Profiting from the ideal opportunities in Europe to spin-in digital manufacturing technologies and Industry 4.0 to space

Identifying and implementing new manufacturing technologies for space applications enabling design freedom, streamlined production stages and reduced cost, along with enhanced performance from the final product

The ultimate goal is to revitalise and consolidate the European leadership in Advanced Manufacturing for space applications, with a significant return of investment also in many non-space industrial sectors.

It covers all space relevant materials and manufacturing technologies as well as other topics such as modelling and standardisation.

A major focus is currently on the paradigm-shifting 3D printing process and the latest smart manufacturing technologies being developed in response to the industrial digital transition. Since its introduction, more than 40 technology development activities have been kicked-off with European space industry, mainly funded by GSTP. It has brought together industrial and institutional partners from all sectors of the manufacturing and design domain of space, and has assisted in the development and industrialisation of manufacturing processes in Europe. 

The attached document provides more background about this cross-cutting initiative.

The Materials and Electrical Components Laboratory

a state-of-the-art ESTEC laboratory

ESA – RAL Advanced 



external laboratory