NASA is gearing up to demonstrate 3D printing in zero gravity. The only 3D printer in space was reinstalled in the week of June 27, 2016 by astronaut Jeff Williams in the Microgravity Science Glove Box. The astronauts hope to continue their research on the groundbreaking technology and find various applications for it in space.
The 3D printer uses relatively low temperature plastic filament to sequentially construct parts and it was first tested in 2014. It was first used on Earth to produce certain items that will be used as controls.
The ultimate goal for such technology in space is to facilitate and sustain deep-space manned missions. The printers are being looked as a means to establish a machine shop in space. This will serve to make the space station less reliant on items and parts sent from Earth, reducing costs substantially. Such technology is more likely to make residence in space more feasible than it is now.
The objects currently being manufactured by the printer will eventually be compared to those that were produced by the same printer on Earth. The comparison will help to further research and pave a path for the perfection of this facility in space.
The stature of innovation and progress in the field of 3D printing has been immense over the last few years, now that the technology has reached space, it surely is tempting to get our own 3D Printers and get started. And, why shouldn’t we?
If you own one already, get started right now. But even if you don’t, you need not to worry, head on to MindKits 3D Printers and get one for really affordable prices with premium quality. Good luck with your endeavour!
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first ever 3D Printer in Space. Photo: NASA