3D Printing News Blog

3D Printing News and Articles

3D Printers in Space

1 Comment


http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/41/Space_Shuttle_Columbia_launching.jpg

 

The thought of 3D printed materials being used in space exploration is quite fascinating. The revolution of 3D printing just continues to expand at an exponential rate. One of the main factors of NASA space exploration missions comes down to budget allotted by our government. In 2015, it has been reported that Congress has approved a $17.5 billion budget for NASA.

So, anything that could help ease the cost of materials heading to space would be a great benefit for exploration. Now, with 3D printers becoming smaller and more accessible, it will be possible for astronauts to bring the printers up to space with them, as listed in this recent article by phys.org:

“Manned missions could carry a 3D printer with them to ensure full self-reliance as they fly many months or years distant from Earth. Any broken item could be quickly and easily replaced.” This would absolutely come in handy if NASA does end up sending manned spacecraft to Mars.

One reason that this technology will be so useful for NASA is due to the type of manufacturing that 3D printing will allow. This is known as Additive Manufacturing (AM). Basically, rather than starting with a large mold that is chiseled down to create whatever objects are needed (known as Subtractive Manufacturing), with 3D printing you can create several smaller parts that you would then piece together. Certainly there will be more news on this in the future, so stay tuned!

One thought on “3D Printers in Space

  1. It will be cool to see NASA use them on their future space shuttles as a tool the astronauts can use every day.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s