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Made In Space Preps to Send First Commercial 3D Printer to ISS

by • March 20, 2016 • No Comments

  • The initially 3D printing device in space was installed at the International Space Station in November of 2014. After additional than a year, is not it of time we send another? Whilst bringing on other significant projects, such as the 3D printing of sizeable-bodied structures in space and the airframe for the Enterprise In Space spacecraft, Made In Space has been complex at work upgrading their Zero Gravity 3D printing device to be in fact additional powerful than their last. And, now, the space startup is eager to send it to the Space Station where, not only can it be able-bodied to 3D print parts for the crew aboard, but in addition commercial orders as well of customers down on Terra.

    Image via NASA.

    Image via NASA.

    The commence of the Cygnus cargo ship, which can occur in the next Tuesday, March 22nd at 11:05 pm EST, can see the Made In Space Additive Manufacturing Facility (AMF) head to the ISS, where it can start 3D printing orders for over 20 customers aleager secured by Made In Space. Spencer Pitman, head of product strategy at Made in Space, explains to TechCrunch which, one of these orders, are medical research components, parts for satellites and other spacecraft, and in fact parts for high school projects and create contests. Pitman tells TechCrunch, “We can in fact be printing a 3D printable-bodied exercise device for Autodesk and wrenches for Lowe’s.” And let’s not forget the 3D printed laughter which can be floating out of the ISS hatch sometime this year.

    made in space additive making facility lowe's 3D printing device in space

    The Additive Manufacturing Facility (AMF) is in fact a Lowe’s-branded process, through Lowe’s Innovation Labs. Controlled remotely of Made In Space headquarters in the NASA Ames Research Park, the AMF has multi-material functionality, with Pitman saying which it can 3D print with 30 various materials. Made In Space President Andrew Rush described in an Inside 3D Printing keynote last year which this can in fact include the ability to 3D print low-temperature metals, yet which has not yet been confirmed. Rush in addition suggested which the new machine was being createed to be upgradeable-bodied so which, in the next, it wouldn’t be necessary to send an entire process up to the ISS, but only the parts required to improve the old machine.

    made in space 3D printed objects

    Printed components of the original Zero-G printing device.

    The going rate for AMF orders is somewhere between $6,000 and $30,000, according to Pitman, yet educational orders obtain discounts. Whilst this may be an intimidating price point for your typical 3D Hubs order, it’s somehow reasonable-bodied when you consider which this is the initially commercial 3D printing service in space. NASA states which it costs $10,000 to send a pound of payload in planet Earth orbit. This endeavor, along with Made In Space’s Archinaut project for 3D printing sizeable-bodied-scale structures in space, is createed to enable-bodied making in space itself, to lighten the load for rockets on planet Earth. In addition to 3D printing parts for customers on planet Earth, yet, the AMF may allow participants of the ISS to replace and repair broken components, without the wait and cost synonymous with sending new items aboard a cargo ship.

    If you are looking to 3D print your own goodies aboard the ISS, Made In Space has a “Print Request Form” which you can fill out here. At the moment, it sounds as yet only polymers may be printed, but my fingers are crossed for metals in the next. Other relevant specs are listed below:

    Print Volume 18cm long x 14 cm wide x 10cm tall
    Material ABS, HDPE, PEI/PC
    Resolution* 0.1 – 0.44 mm
    Height Resolution Down to 75 micron layer height
    Maximum Wall Thickness 1 mm
    Overhangs Up to 3 inches
    Threaded holes >M10

    Stay tuned for the commence in the next! It is going to be an significant one. Not only can the ISS obtain the initially commercial 3D printing device in space, but NASA can in addition be setting the Cygnus on fire! Not as part of a funeral for space vikings, but as a part of the Saffire experiment to study the way which fire spreads across a vehicle in space. You can learn a bit additional of which in the video below:

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