From: Relativity Space
Posted: Monday, January 3, 2022
Relativity Space, the first company to 3D print entire rockets and build the largest metal 3D printers in the world, is announcing a significant investment in the future of its software-driven manufacturing platform through the hiring of Scott Van Vliet, Senior Vice President of Software Engineering.
In his new role, Scott will lead the Integrated Software and Additive Manufacturing teams, overseeing 150+ employees today and doubling the team before the end of the year to expand Relativity’s ‘Factory Operating System.’ Relativity’s ‘Factory Operating System’ is unified platform that integrates data collection, correlation, machine learning, visualization, and workflow tools to enable faster rates of compounding progress across Relativity’s Stargate printers, production factories, test and launch infrastructure, and rocket development. With its software division representing a significant and growing portion of the company’s talent, Relativity recently surpassed 600 employees in total. With teams across its Long Beach, Vandenberg, Seattle, Washington D.C., Stennis, and Cape Canaveral locations, Relativity is scaling its revolutionary, large scale approach to 3D printing and automation to build a new tech stack for aerospace manufacturing -- one capable of building rockets and other products.
Scott most recently served as Corporate VP at Microsoft, where he was responsible for the real-time communications and collaboration platform powering Microsoft Teams. Scott’s work at Microsoft helped the company enable hundreds of millions of customers to have billions of conversations every day. As an industry leader with 20+ years experience building new tech products, Scott also worked at Amazon, leading its Irvine campus to spearhead development of Amazon Echo devices, new experiences with Alexa and cloud capabilities for Alexa Voice Service.
“We're on a mission to create an entirely new tech stack for aerospace manufacturing,” said Tim Ellis, Cofounder and CEO of Relativity. “Building on six years of development to date, with Scott’s leadership we’re now ready to take our in-house developed tools to the next level and create an entire Factory Operating System to transform aerospace through data, machine learning, and an entirely new way of developing products. It is inevitable that more industries will be disrupted via software, and Relativity is blazing a new path for rockets and aerospace on route to building humanity’s multiplanetary future on Mars. We were very intentional with who we brought on to lead this core unit of our business. On top of being a force of nature in the industry with 20+ years building some of the world’s most innovative breakthroughs like Amazon Alexa, Echo, Microsoft Azure, and Teams, Scott is a humble leader and wonderful human being.”
“Joining a company that’s revolutionizing how rockets are made with autonomous robotics, 3D printing, and machine learning is an out-of-this-world opportunity, and I’m excited to work with the team to build out this next chapter for Relativity and its products,” said Scott Van Vliet, SVP of Software Engineering.
Earlier this year, Relativity unveiled its plans for Terran R, its fully reusable and entirely 3D printed rocket. With software changes, the company’s Stargate printers, the largest metal 3D printers in the world, have already printed a development article for Terran R. As it prepares for the demonstration flight of Terran 1, the world’s first entirely 3D printed rocket, in 2022, Relativity deployed the fourth generation of its Stargate printer, improving on its prior generation with 10X its print speed and capable of producing a Terran 1 rocket fuselage in just 6 days. Combined with the company’s upcoming expansion to its new 1MM+ square-foot factory headquarters in Long Beach, this fourth generation Stargate printer allows Relativity to take its production to new heights, scale, and quality. With in-process monitoring, Relativity’s Stargate printers analyze the prints in real time, detecting any quality issues and using predictive capabilities to print fuselages to aerospace dimensional tolerances.
Disrupting 60 years of aerospace with 3D printing, autonomous robotics, and machine learning, Relativity’s radically simplified supply chain enables the company to print its rockets with 100x fewer parts in less than 60 days. The company’s proprietary 3D printing process is enabled by software and data-driven manufacturing, proprietary 3D printed materials, and unique design geometries that are not possible with traditional manufacturing, driving a faster rate of compounding progress and iteration in the industry.
To learn more about Relativity Space and its multiplanetary mission, visit relativityspace.com.
About Relativity Space
Relativity is building humanity’s multiplanetary future. We invented a new approach to design, print, and fly our own rockets, starting with the world’s first entirely 3D-printed rocket, Terran 1, and Terran R, a larger, fully reusable, entirely 3D-printed launch vehicle.
As a vertically integrated technology platform, Relativity is at the forefront of an inevitable shift toward software-defined manufacturing. By fusing 3D printing, artificial intelligence, and autonomous robotics, we are pioneering the factory of the future. Disrupting 60 years of aerospace, Relativity offers a radically simplified supply chain, building a rocket with 100x fewer parts in less than 60 days.
We believe in a future where interplanetary life fundamentally expands the possibilities for human experience. Our long-term vision is to upgrade humanity’s industrial base on Earth and on Mars.
Relativity Space is backed by leading investors including Baillie Gifford, Blackrock, BOND, Coatue, Fidelity, General Catalyst, ICONIQ Capital, K5 Global, Mark Cuban, Playground Global, Social Capital, Tiger Global, Tribe Capital, Y Combinator, and 3L. For more information, please visit relativityspace.com or connect with us on LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram or YouTube.
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