It seems NASA has deeply inclined to 3D printing technology. Earlier, we have seen NASA donating $125,000 fund to develop a 3D food printer that would be able to create a variety of edibles from common materials. Lately, NASA has announced that it plans to launch equipment for the first 3D microgravity printing experiment on the International Space Station (ISS).
According to NASA, the agency has signed a deal with the Mountain View, California-based company Made in Space Inc. to launch the 3D printing in Zero G Experiment (3D Print) sometime next year. The 3D Print will use extrusion additive manufacturing, which builds objects, layer by layer, out of polymers and other materials.
NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said during a recent tour of the agency’s Ames Research Center at Moffett Field, Calif, “As NASA ventures further into space, whether redirecting an asteroid or sending humans to Mars, we’ll need transformative technology to reduce cargo weight and volume. In the future, perhaps astronauts will be able to print the tools or components they need while in space.”
NASA has mentioned that if successful, the 3D Printing in Zero G Experiment (3D Print) will be the first device to manufacture parts in space. Added to these, NASA believes, “One day, 3D printing may allow an entire spacecraft to be manufactured in space, eliminating design constraints caused by the challenges and mass constraints of launching from Earth. This same technology may help revolutionize American manufacturing and benefit U.S. industries.”