Intelligent "Flat Pack" Structures for Space

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Novastruct Ronin Metal Masters Technology™ is a patented sheet metal folding technology which permits the design of components using a wide spectrum of sheet/plate metal materials to fold into complex and highly precise 3D shapes for structural and non-structural applications. This advanced technology is characterized by the unique definition of parametric bending features tied directly to the component material properties and gauge thickness, in order to generate high precision bend lines requiring low force equipment and zero tooling investment. These patterns are fabricated directly into the flat 2D sheet blanks using a variety of standard metal cutting and stamping equipment.

Many products today are constructed through the use of sheet-metal forming techniques into complex shapes. In particular, sheet metal forming is used extensively throughout transportation, aerospace, electronics, packaging, and industrial applications. However, complex sheet metal stampings require tooling dies which are typically complicated and expensive because of the high level of expertise and lead time required to effectively manufacture them. Likewise dies are cost prohibitive in low production runs limiting the application of stamped metal products to simple high volume forms.

Accuracy is another important characteristic when bending high quality, complex multifaceted components. Tolerance stack up from bend to bend can make parts with two or more folds unsuitable for high precision parts further limiting potential applications. Sheet metal materials tend to fit into a continuum between ductile and brittle. A brittle sheet material would be defined as one that is not capable of plastic deformation. Stated differently, brittle sheet materials break if bent too sharply. This includes high strength materials including, but not limited to, titanium, 6xxx & 7xxx series aluminum and hardened steel. These materials require a substantially large bend radius to avoid cracking and therefore, are unsuitable for many applications. A ductile material is one able that can be plastically deformed. Thus, ductile types of sheet metal material have the ability to be bent with sharper edges. Therefore, forming of sheet materials using current manufacturing processes is limited to materials that are substantially on the ductile side of the spectrum.

Novastruct is working on implementing Ronin Metal Masters™ Technology in various industries, including aerospace and transportation where the use of high strength materials to create lightweight structures without the need for expensive tooling, provides a unique competitive advantage. Novastruct engineering teams have developed application for automobile structures and motorcycle chassis systems, and are now looking at the opportunity to advance the capability for interplanetary settlement. Our unique ability to fold Titanium and Aluminum alloy’s to create modular components which can be delivered efficiently in space and folded into stable structures, offer a unique solution which allows a dramatic reduction of lead team, launch costs, and design flexibility. The direct-to-manufacturing principle allows design changes to be immediately incorporated into the flat 2D designs and sent to manufacturing for completion.


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  • Name:
    Mario Greco
  • Type of entry:
    Team members:
    Mario Greco Trent Chontas Stephen Leonard Rob Hannum Andy Davies
  • Profession:
  • Mario is inspired by:
    Creating new products that make a difference. ....and my friends!
  • Patent status: