What Is the Purpose of 3D Printing in Space?

Julia | 30 - 12 - 2021
3D Printing in Space

3D Printing in Space :

As we all know, the international space station has been home to many astronauts for more than nineteen years. As the astronauts used to conduct multiple researchers they needed more equipment and spare parts. 

To make all of this possible, the space team always sends more than 7,000 pounds of spare parts to space annually. Another 29,000 pounds of spaceflight hardware spares are stored aboard the station and in the ground, there will be 39000 pounds of spare parts will be in stock with ready to fly condition if needed. Want to know more about space engineers 3D printers? Then, go through our interesting facts about 3D printing in Space to find out more useful information about 3D space printing.

Do Astronauts Use 3D Printers in Space?
  • A. Yes
  • B. No

Unknown Facts about 3D Space Printing

  • First 3D Printer to Space Station

The very first 3D printer developed by the Made in Space organization was sent to the space station in 2014. This space engineer’s 3D printer used a fused filament fabrication (FFF) process. This process is done by feeding a thread of plastic through a heated extruder which creates a three-dimensional object. 

  • 3D Printing in Zero Gravity

3D printing in zero gravity is possible and it has produced so many dozens of parts. These dozens of parts were also compared with the objects that were manufactured on earth. Analysis shows that microgravity had no engineering-significant effects on the 3D printing process held in space. It also demonstrated that 3D printing structures in space work normally.

  • 3D Printed Rocket

Relativity Space is an American aerospace manufacturing company headquartered in Los Angeles, California. Relativity Space is now fusing additive manufacture with artificial intelligence, and autonomous robotics to build Terran, the world’s first 3D printed rocket powered by Aeon engines. Even these engines are also mostly printed in 3D.

  • NASA’s 3D Printing

NASA’s 3D printing efforts might be a bit behind in terms of technology but they are implemented on a much larger scale. Rapid Analysis and Manufacturing Propulsion Technology (RAMPT) project by NASA is now advancing the development of additive manufacturing techniques to 3D print enormous rocket combustion chambers, thrust chambers, and nozzles. These parts may look simple but it takes years to finish them as they are complex.

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