Monday, March 12, 2012

3D Printing is Space..

The idea of 3D printing objects in space is not only genius... it is also very practical. 

Made in Space is a startup company in Silicon Valley that aims to get a 3D printer on the International Space Station by 2014. Why is this a great idea? Transporting tools, provisions and materials up into space not only takes up room, but it also adds in weight which in turn burns more fuel. Why pack the shuttle with an assortment of tools, metal, plastic or even concrete... when you can effortlessly receive a CAD file from Earth of the object you want and with a push of a button the object is simply printed out for you to use... 

As a proof-of-concept, Made in Space brought along a custom 3D printer and a Bits from Bytes3D Touch with them on a two-hour reduced-gravity aircraft flight (better known as the Vomit Comet). The parabolic flight pattern of the aircraft creates periods in which the plane and its passengers (including printers) are in free-fall, simulating microgravity for about 25 seconds per parabola. The Made in Space team then had about 20 minutes total of reduced gravity to print a part, and so they did: a small wrench that is the first-ever tool produced in partial gravity. 
....Is this another reality imitating sci-fi? 
Remember the Star Trek series and their Replicator that is capable of creating anything they wish? Having a 3D printer up on the ISS is one step closer in having the luxuries of the Starship Enterprise... 
Star Trek's Replicator

via pcworld

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Once perfected, they could produce another 3-D printer in space! Now that's freaky!

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