3D Printer Certified by NASA
NASA approved a 3D printer that will help astronauts to print components, tools and equipment on-demand in space. The device will be flown to the International Space Station next year, aboard the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.
The item is the first 3D printer certified safe to travel and operate in microgravity conditions, which was created by the manufacturer Made in Space in collaboration with NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center.
“The printer is built specifically to handle the environmental challenges of space and uses extrusion additive manufacturing, which builds objects layer by layer out of polymers and other materials,” said Made in Space.
The device is as big as a shoebox and features a metal and glass exterior that provides view of the inside. It’s capable of printing 30% of the spare parts on the space station, as well as other useful things such as clips, buckles or containers.
“The 3D printer we’re developing for the ISS is all about enabling astronauts today to be less dependent on Earth,” said Noah Paul-Gin, microgravity experiment lead.