Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Astronautical Engineering


Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics

First Advisor

Ryan O'Hara, PhD.


Recent innovations in additive manufacturing and design capabilities have opened the door for more opportunities to integrate multiple functions into a structural de- sign. Specifically, 3D printing through advanced laser powder bed fusion of metal powder allows for the development and integration of advanced structures that were previously unachievable. The demonstration of these techniques on a small satellite results in a structural bus consisting of various external and internal features, increasing its functionality and capabilities beyond simply providing structural support. 3D printing a multi-functional CubeSat bus with these integrated features such as internal lattices and wiring tabs demonstrates a new way of thinking going forward: modularizing the structural design and incorporating various capabilities that can meet a unique or generic satellite mission. This research addresses the design and testing of an additively manufactured CubeSat structural bus. 3D printing capabilities were harnessed to incorporate lattices into the walls of the structure, increasing its natural frequency and decreasing mass. The 3D printed unloaded CubeSat structure was vibration tested to NASA GEVS qualification levels, and showed no damage and proved survivability under these loading conditions.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number