Space-Based 3-D Printing Reaches Milestone

Mike Wall, SPACE.com:   Made In Space just took another step toward its goal of building telescopes and other large structures off Earth.

A 3D printer built by the California-based company churned out multiple polymer-alloy objects — the largest of which was a 33.5-inch-long (85 centimeters) beam — during a 24-day test inside a thermal vacuum chamber (TVAC) here in Silicon Valley at NASA's Ames Research Center in June.

The milestone marks the first time a 3D printer has created "extended structures" in a space-like environment, Made In Space representatives said here Thursday (Aug. 10) during a press event announcing the success of the June test. (The TVAC imposed the temperatures and vacuum of space, though standard Earth gravity remained.) [3D Printing in Space: A Photo Gallery]

"This is an important milestone, because it means that we can now adaptively and on demand manufacture things in space," said Made In Space CEO Andrew Rush. "We have significantly de-risked that technology."

Made In Space has already demonstrated zero-G printing; the company built the two 3D printers aboard the International Space Station. (NASA owns one of the machines, and Made In Space owns the other, operating it as a commercial facility.) But both of the ISS printers are kept inside the station, so they don't experience the vacuum or extreme temperature fluctuations of space.  Full Article:

Comments (0)

This post does not have any comments. Be the first to leave a comment below.


Post A Comment

You must be logged in before you can post a comment. Login now.

Featured Product

How Cabinet Coolers Can End Costly Shutdowns

How Cabinet Coolers Can End Costly Shutdowns

A low cost, reliable way to cool and purge electronic control panels. EXAIR Cabinet Coolers incorporate a vortex tube to produce cold air from compressed air - with no moving parts. NEMA 12, 4, and 4X Cabinet Coolers that match the NEMA rating of the enclosure are available in many cooling capacities for large and small control panels. Cabinet Coolers convert an ordinary supply of compressed air into clean, cold 20ºF air. Learn more about Cabinet Coolers in EXAIR's white paper "How EXAIR Cabinet Coolers Can End Costly Shutdowns". www.exair.com/184/Cab_Coolers_MTOM.htm