NASA successfully creates first 3D-printed object in space

A major breakthrough, the astronauts abroad the International Space Station (ISS) successfully manufactured the first 3D-printer part to be produced in space. NASA’s Zero-G printer, which was installed last week in the ISS by NASA commander Barry “Butch” Wilmore, was developed in association with Made in Space, a California based startup. It was developed with aim of ultimately being able to manufacture all replacement parts needed in space, rather than waiting for the supplies to be sent from Earth.

 “This first print is the initial step toward providing an on-demand machine shop capability away from Earth,”Niki Werkheiser, NASA project manager for the ISS 3D printer.

The printer, installed aboard the ISS, was used to produce a replacement plastic faceplate for its own extruder system using a technique called additive manufacturing.Werkheiser explained that if the technology proves successful after further testing, scientists will soon be able to email hardware to space.

"It represents the idea that if something goes wrong on the space station, or future space stations, the crew and NASA now have the ability to build a solution,"Made in Space CEO Aaron Kemmer told 

"It's a huge milestone, not only for Made In Space and NASA, but for humanity as a whole,"he added. 

NASA’s Zero-G printer was delivered to the station this September by a robotic freight carrier called SpaceX dragon capsule. The team from NASA and Made In Space are presently conducting the test to ensure the printed parts functionality and viability of producing replacement parts in space. Also the space agency is also testing how the zero-gravity environment affects the processes of 3D printing. 

The first 3D printed part will be sent to Earth in 2015 for further testing to check the difference between manufacturing in space and on Earth.

Kaiser Bey
Kaiser is a tech enthusiast who likes to write, read and talk about tech. He dreams of going to Mars and never come back. We hope that you find his posts on AndroGuider helpful and informative
NASA successfully creates first 3D-printed object in space NASA successfully creates first 3D-printed object in space Reviewed by Kaiser on 11/28/2014 05:49:00 AM
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