First 3D Printer In Space?
NASA is working on a microgravity-optimised 3D printer to send up the International Space Station. The 3D printer is expected to launch later this month.
(NASA's microgravity-optimised 3D printer)
NASA astronaut Timothy J Creamer, who spent more than six months aboard the International Space Station (ISS) in 2010, explained the benefits of 3D printing in space.
“I remember when the tip broke off a tool during a mission,” he said. “I had to wait for the next shuttle to come up to bring me a new one.
“Now, rather than wait for a resupply ship to bring me a new tool, in the future, I could just print it.”
Developed under a NASA contract by commercial company Made In Space, the printer will be tested aboard the ISS and, if successful, will be used as the basis for a commercial-scale 3D printer known as the Additive Manufacturing Facility, or AMF.
This will serve as a kind of extraterrestrial maker space by not only enabling the quick printing of replacement parts, but also as a research tool that can be used by Earth-based academics to 3D print in space.
I guess it's too early to think that we now have orbiting factories, like the ones in Arthur C. Clarke's still excellent 1978 novel The Fountains of Paradise, but we're definitely getting there.
"...What is it?"
"The result of two hundred years of solid-state physics. For whatever good that does, it is a continuous pseudo-one dimensional diamond crystal - though it's not actually pure carbon. There are several trace elements in carefully controlled amounts. It can be mass-produced only in the orbiting factories, where there's no gravity to interfere with the growth process."
Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 9/3/2014)
Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.
| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |
you like to contribute a story tip?
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add
Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )
Related News Stories -
A 'Genuine Nanorobotic Production Factory'
'Microscopic machinery, smaller than ants, smaller than pins, working energetically, purposefully - constructing something...' - Philip K Dick, 1955.
Made In Space To Manufacture Optical Fiber In Orbit
'Mass-produced only in the orbiting factories...' - Arthur C. Clarke, 1978.
Self-Assembling Bacteria Build A Pressure Sensor
Nature is a master of fabricating structured materials consisting of living and non-living components.
Artificial Spider Silk
You can also use it to make a roof - on an asteroid.
Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!)
is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for
the Invention Category that interests
you, the Glossary, the Invention
Timeline, or see what's New.
Soft Robotics - Now With 3D Printed Sensors!
'A series of chemelectric afferent nerve-analogues, which permitted it to gauge to an ounce the amount of pressure necessary to snap a bone...'
AI Tool Lynx Insight And The Cybernetic Newsroom
'The structure,... was once a great homeostatic newspaper, the New York Times. It printed itself directly below us...'
Espresso Telescope Searches For Exoplanets
'These instruments were the wonderful ones our astronomers had perfected.'
Dune Fans! Metal-Organic Frameworks Make Science Fiction Real
'Dew collectors,' he muttered, enchanted by the simple beauty of such a scheme.
Manned Maneuvering Unit From 1984
'The glittering little rocket bolted to the black iron behind him.'
Astronaut Gets Younger In Space
'So what we're looking for now is not an antibiotic - an anti-life drug - but an anti-agathic, an anti-death drug...'
Blockchain Used To Verify Election Results
'Any adult could punch into the phone his or her code, followed by a yes or no.'
IJOP Integrated Joint Operations Platform China's Minority Report?
'All day long the idiots babbled, imprisoned in their special high-backed chairs...'
HushMe Bluetooth Device Reinvents The Hush-A-Phone
'Talking into a hush-a-phone which he had plugged into the telephone jack...'
Ultrathin Brain Needle Developed At MIT
Putting drugs into a selected cubic millimeter within the living brain.
Tesla Semi Truck Now At Work
Why wait? Tesla Semi now hard at work.
Illustris: The Next Generation Of Universe Simulation
'This digital device was ... A machine able literally to contain the Universe Itself...'
Scaly Yet Soft Robotic Snake
Love those robotic sneks.
Cool Tinsley Lunar Unicycle Update
Great update of a timeless classic.
NASA's 'Armstrong' Soft Wearable Upper Extremity Garment
'Exact same articulation as your shoulder joint, and it holds your muscles out of the way...'
Kuri Robot Roams Your Home, Taking Pictures
'Small devices with cameras and sound equipment which could move freely...'
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories