Please enter a long search term
3D Printing in Zero-Gravity
On November 24 the first 3D printer built to operate in space successfully manufactured its first part on the International Space Station (ISS).
Nasa and Made In Space successfully 3d printing the first object in space.
The first part made in space is a functional part of the printer itself – a faceplate for its own extruder printhead. “This ‘First Print’ serves to demonstrate the potential of the technology to produce replacement parts on demand if a critical component fails in space,” said Jason Dunn, Chief Technical Officer for Made In Space.
For the entirety of the space program, tools and parts have been built on Earth and required a rocket to get to space. The presence of a 3D printer onboard the ISS will allow hardware designs to be made on Earth and then digitally beamed to the space station, where the physical object will be created in a matter of hours.
The initial phase of this science experiment will see a selection of test coupons, parts and tools printed in order to validate design, methodology and technology assumptions. Made In Space will print the same objects on their identical ground unit in order to provide a group of control prints. The ISS prints will be returned to Earth via a future return flight in order for the control prints and microgravity prints to be compared.
Following the initial printing phase, NASA and Made In Space will be conducting additional ongoing experiments to further test aspects of additive manufacturing onboard ISS.