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How Kepler rapidly went from a sketch on a napkin to a satellite in space with 3D Hubs CNC Machining

Kepler Communications is a young telecommunications company that specializes in nanosatellite designs. Their design process requires quality parts produced with extremely short lead times. 3D Hubs is proud to offer CNC machining and 3D printing services that help Kepler turn their satellite designs into reality.

Trial and Engineering

Kepler’s design process is intensive and fast-paced. This company likes to block out concepts, build prototypes, and analyze failures within a surprisingly short timeframe. New parts are swapped for old, and fresh models are constantly generated to meet each satellite’s structural needs.

Many of the parts used in Kelper’s satellite are created with CNC machining. This detailed manufacturing process results in accurate parts with high structural integrity. Sample satellite parts included brackets, mounts, and heat shields. CNC machining is used to produce both prototype models and final, space-ready components.

Kepler can design models quickly, but they need their new parts to arrive in a timely fashion. Many CNC machining services can take weeks to deliver quotes and months to deliver final products. Instead of slowing down their design process, Kepler turned to 3D Hubs for a speedy solution.

Quotes generated in minutes

Every time the engineers at Kepler need a new part, they upload a CAD file to the 3D Hubs’ online quote tool. This service can generate a CNC machining quote minutes after the file is uploaded. All projects are reviewed and confirmed within 24 hours of submission.

This instant turnaround lets Kepler’s engineers quickly design parts that will fit within their budget. The Design for Manufacturing tool makes sure that every part is ready for CNC machining production. Using the quote portal, Kepler can generate a price and send an invoice to their purchasing department within less than a day.

Parts delivered in a week

3D Hubs lead times are shorter than any in the industry. Kepler’s engineers go from digital models to parts-in-hand within less than a week. This speedy manufacturing process allows Kepler to move through the design process without waiting endlessly for a specific part to come in.

3D Hubs partners with CNC machining services and manufacturers across the globe to deliver parts as quickly as possible. Once the CNC quote is confirmed, the nearest CNC machining company immediately starts production. Kepler relied on these short lead times to produce an amazing design faster than anyone thought possible. 

Space reached in a year

Like many works of art, the satellite that Kelper Communications launched in 2018 started out as a sketch on a restaurant napkin. Most engineering projects take years to realize; thanks to 3D Hubs’ CNC machining services, Kepler was able to launch their first satellite less than 365 days after creating the initial napkin design.

After the first satellite was launched in January of 2018, the company raised over $16 million from investors to support the launch of a full satellite communications cloud. The cloud will contain an estimated 150 satellites; each one will require a new set of parts produced with CNC machining.

Thanks to the CNC machining and 3D printing services offered by 3D Hubs, Kepler Communications was able to launch a nanosatellite with one of the highest data rates in history. Their company continues to grow, and they continue to rely on 3D Hubs’ CNC machining services to design and produce parts as quickly as possible.

 

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