In 2016, a new Guinness World Record was set for the largest object to be 3D printed in one piece. The ABS/carbon fiber composite tool was 3D printed in 30 hours, and measured 17.5 feet long, 5.5 feet wide, and 1.5 feet tall. It was about as long as an average sport utility vehicle. The part was inarguably an impressive accomplishment – but that long length cannot compare to what Made In Space just 3D printed.
Made In Space is known for some pretty impressive accomplishments already. The company was responsible for the first 3D printer to be launched into space, and has since created a full Additive Manufacturing Facility (AMF) on the International Space station. Plenty of “firsts” have been set by the AMF as 3D printed tools, medical supplies, art and more have been 3D printed in space, the first of their kind. Now Made In Space has claimed the Guinness World Record for longest non-assembled 3D printed object, and it’s a lot longer than an SUV – it’s 37.7 meters, or 123 feet, 8.5 inches long.
That also happens to be the length of Made In Space’s Moffett Field facility at NASA’s Ames Research Center. The beam is now hanging from the ceiling of the facility. It was 3D printed with the company’s Extended Structure Additive Manufacturing Machine (ESAMM), which is the internal 3D printer of the Archinaut system. Archinaut uses robotic arms to assemble pre-fabricated and 3D printed components into larger, more complex structures, and will eventually be installed in space where it can autonomously repair things like satellites.
Last summer, Made In Space successfully operated its ESAMM technology in a space-like environment, and wanted to take things a step further by demonstrating the 3D printer’s ability to print objects of indefinite size. Of course, setting a Guinness World Record didn’t hurt either.
“We believe that this record is indicative of the transformational work we’re doing in space today,” said Made In Space President and CEO Andrew Rush. “Guinness is the most recognized, ultimate global authority in record breaking, and our team couldn’t be prouder to receive this recognition for their incredible work. They deserve it.”
To be recognized as a Guinness World Record, a record must be measurable, breakable, capable of standardization, verifiable, based on one superlative and measured in one unit of measurement, and achieve best-in-the-world standing. Guinness World Records are set frequently in the 3D printing world as the technology continues to grow in its capabilities, becoming able to 3D print larger and larger objects.
It will be interesting to see how long Made In Space’s record will stand – will someone else come along and 3D print a longer part before we know it? It’s hard to say, but it will be tough to beat Made In Space’s beam – and the company’s technology is such that it can just keep 3D printing longer and longer parts if it wants to. That’s a capability worth being proud of, but even more, it’s a capability that should excite everyone about the future of 3D printing in space.
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[Image/video provided by Made In Space]