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CNC Machining of Aluminum Lunar Lander Base Plate for the Space Exploration Industry

When Edgar Industries was given the opportunity by the aerospace/space exploration industry to provide design and execution for a Lunar Lander base plate, how could we possibly have said no? Following a customer-based print and executing our own 2D CAD drawings, we realized quickly that such ambition was fully achievable given our technology and personnel.

We built the deck plate by way of horizontal CNC milling, hollowing the cumbersome 2200-lb. deck plate slab out of 6061 T6 aluminum with a Toshiba BF 130B in order to reduce weight to a mere 250-lb. plate. The final dimensions came out to be 10 foot by 10 foot square, with a wall thickness at the base of the pockets coming out to be a slender .079 inches.

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CNC Machining of Aluminum Lunar Lander Base Plate for the Space Exploration Industry
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CNC Machining of Aluminum Lunar Lander Base Plate for the Space Exploration Industry
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CNC Machining of Aluminum Lunar Lander Base Plate for the Space Exploration Industry
  Click to enlarge
CNC Machining of Aluminum Lunar Lander Base Plate for the Space Exploration Industry

Specifications for the CNC Machined Aluminum Base Plate

Product Description   This deck plate is used within a lunar lander application that will be used for the exploration of the lunar surface. 1100 pockets and 1300 holes.
Capabilities Applied/Processes   Horizontal CNC Milling
  • Hollow out slab by machining a series of pockets on the underside to reduce mass
Equipment Used to Manufacture Part   TOSHIBA BF 130B
Overall Part Dimensions   Square 10 foot x 10 foot;
wall thickness at base of pockets is 0.079 inches
Tightest Tolerances   0.250 inch flatness;
Material Used   Aluminum 6061 T6
Estimated Part Weight   Started at 2200 lbs finished weight 250 lbs
Industry for Use   Space exploration - Aerospace
Delivery Location   Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Standards Met   Customer supplied print, 2D CAD Drawing
Product Name   Lunar Lander Base Plate (Lander Deck)

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