First 3D Printer Will Be Sent to Space By NASA Next Month

Share this Article

3D Printing has been around for 30 years, however it was only recently that the technology has progressed enough to make it useful for a wide array of applications. One of these applications is in outer space. Astronauts at space-1NASA are expected to take the first 3D printer out of the Earth’s atmosphere later next month.

Expedition 40/41 crew will be aboard the shuttle responsible for bringing this exciting machine to the International Space Station. The printer will likely be used some time this summer as the crew works on the space station. Astronaut Reid Wiseman, is one of the crew members bound for the station in May, and is excited about the prospects of having a 3D printer on board.

“Imagine if Apollo 13 had a 3D printer,” Wiseman said. “Imagine if you’re going to Mars and instead of packing along 20,000 spare parts, you pack along a few kilograms of ink. Now, you don’t even need to know what part is going to break, you can just print out that part. Let’s say your screwdriver strips out halfway to Mars and you need a screwdriver, print out a screwdriver. Really, I think for the future, that’s pretty fascinating. I really like that and it’ll be fun to play with that on orbit. I think the ground will uplink a sample and get it to print out because if they let the crew print stuff out, we’d run that thing out of ink in five minutes”

The 3D printer which will be sent to space, is manufactured by a company called Made in Space. They call the printer “3D Print”, and believe that the device will be capable of printing out close to 30 percent of the spare parts that are currently being housed at the space station. Such a printer could save NASA a tremendous amount of money. Instead of having to bring along tens of thousands of different parts on a mission, they can space-featsimply pack the “3D Print” printer and several kilograms of printer “ink”. Considering that it costs approximately $1000 in fuel for every pound of material that is launched, any cut back on supplies could save millions of dollars per launch.

This mission will be a stepping stone for the future of 3D printing in space, and could one day lead to printers capable of using terrestrial soils/dust to print bases on the Moon, or even Mars. Discuss this impending NASA mission on 3D Print Board. (Source/Photos: Space.com)

Share this Article


Recent News

Future Additive Market Strategies: First Quarter 2020 Financial Reports

Sustainable Cabin Built on 3D-Printed Concrete Stilts from Infested Ash Wood



Categories

3D Design

3D Printed Art

3D Printed Food

3D Printed Guns


You May Also Like

Nanyang Technological University: Processes & Materials in Large Scale Concrete Printing

Yi Wei Daniel Tay of the School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Nanyang Technological University recently submitted a thesis, ‘Large scale 3D concrete printing : process and materials properties,’...

Recycling Filaments: Evaluating the Mechanical Response of ABS in Multiple Cycles

Researchers from Greece experiment with sustainability in materials, detailing the findings of their study in the recently published ‘Sustainable Additive Manufacturing: Mechanical Response of Acrylonitrile-Butadiene-Styrene Over Multiple Recycling Processes.’ The...

3D Systems Streamlines Software for Reverse Engineering

3D Systems has announced the latest versions of its Geomagic Design X and Geomagic Wrap  software, this time claiming “first-to-market capabilities” for streamlining workflows and improving design precision. New features...

Biopolymers Used to 3D Print Large-scale Marine Fender

As discussed in our series on the role of 3D printing and polymers in (averting or contributing to) ecological collapse, biopolymers may be a crucial factor in the equation to...


Shop

View our broad assortment of in house and third party products.


Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our 3DPrint.com.

You have Successfully Subscribed!