One Giant Leap for 3D Printing

3D Composites’s Seattle 3D printing company has reported before on the role 3D printing is taking in many exciting scientific fields, including green energy, medicine, and nanotechnology. However, the latest news in the 3D printing community is the first truly out-of-this-world advancement we have yet seen. As of November 24th, 3D printing has ushered in a new era of manufacturing in space.

As a part of NASA’s 3D Print project, the International Space Station has been equipped with a special printer designed by a California startup company called Made In Space. On the 24th, this printer produced the first product ever manufactured off of the planet Earth. This part was the printer’s own extruder plate, measuring about 3 inches long, 1.5 inches wide, and a quarter inch thick.

This represents a great leap forward for space exploration. For the first time, astronauts will be able to create their own replacement parts without having to rely upon shipments from Earth. This promises to reduce the expenses associated with spaceflight and enable more expansive manned space exploration. In the future, similar technology may be used by explorers to produce their own equipment from the materials they find on other planets.