3D Printing in Space

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3D Printing zero-waste products are coming

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According to Peter H. Diamandis, MD, “3D Printing zero-waste products are coming, Welcome to the 2030 era of tailor-made, rapid-fire, ultra-cheap, and zero-waste product creation… on our planet, and far beyond. 3D Printing on the ISS.
Today, the most expensive supply chain in the known universe extends only 241 miles. Jutting straight up from mission control down here on Earth, this resupply network extends directly to the astronauts aboard the International Space Station (or the ISS).”

3D Printing Everything: Ultra-Cheap, Zero-Waste Products Are Coming

Singularity University

3D printed “Star Trek Enterprise”

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According to Glenn and T’Pol, who also serves as the University of Houston-Victoria’s provost and vice president of academic affairs, received degrees in electrical engineering from the University of Maryland at College Park and Johns Hopkins University, “The startup world’s 3D printing craze comes to Victoria. A glass of cold water materializes at a simple command from T’Pol, a Vulcan who serves on the spaceship Enterprise, in a clip from the early 2000s series “Star Trek Enterprise.”
I saw a similar device on a Tarkalean vessel,” It was capable of replicating almost any inanimate object.
If we had one of these in engineering, we could make all the spare parts we need notes Trip Tucker, another character in the series.”

The University of Houston

The startup world’s 3D printing craze comes to Victoria

4D Bio3 Technology Edit

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According to Uniformed Services University and NASA, “Using 3D biological printers to produce usable human organs has long been a dream of scientists and doctors around the globe. However, printing the tiny, complex structures found inside human organs, such as capillary structures, has proven difficult to accomplish in Earth’s gravity environment. To overcome this challenge, Techshot designed its BioFabrication Facility (BFF) to print organ-like tissues in microgravity, acting as a stepping stone in a long-term plan to manufacture whole human organs in space using refined biological 3D printing techniques.”

 

The University of Rhode Island

BioFabrication Facility

3D printed Terran 1

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According to Relativity Space is a private American aerospace manufacturer company headquartered in Los Angeles, California, “Relativity Space was founded on the idea that Blue Origin and SpaceX were not doing enough to use 3D printing as part of rocket manufacturing. Relativity plans to 3D print an entire launch vehicle they call Terran 1. The extensive use of 3D printing has allowed the company to iterate designs quickly, use less tooling and human labor. In March 2018, Relativity Space signed a 20-year lease at the John C. Stennis Space Center, a NASA rocket testing facility, to test engine components and eventually test full-scale Aeon 1 rocket engines.
The company says it will launch its first rocket named Terran 1 from the site in 2020. Relativity plans to start commercial launch service by early 2021.”

Relativity Space

Relativity, a company 3D printing entire rockets, raises $140 million from venture firms Bond, Tribe

RAW MATERIAL TO FLIGHT

Air Force lab and 3D printing

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According to Hilmar Koerner, Ph.D., research team lead for polymer matrix composite materials and processes at the AFRL Materials and Manufacturing Directorate, “Additive manufacturing is important to the future of aerospace for a variety of reasons. Benefits include complexity enabled capability; low-volume, low-cost manufacturing; part reduction; improved form-fit function; tool-less part manufacturing; and lightweighting of interior hardware, such as air ducts, seat framework and wall panels.”

According to Jeffery Baur, Ph.D., leader of the AFRL Composite Performance Research Team, “Printing composites can produce parts with complex shapes and eliminates the need for the expensive pressure cooker and long heating cycles. The possibility to produce parts in the field or at a depot without a long logistics tail is a win-win scenario.”

Air Force lab takes 3D printing to new heights

U.S. Air Force – The first approved project was printed on the Stratasys F900

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According to Travis release,” The first approved project was printed on the Stratasys F900, can print parts with dimensions up to 36 inches x 24 inches x 36 inches made of Ultem 9085, a specialized plastic known for its extra flexibility, density and strength. The 60th Maintenance Squadron at Travis AFB, Calif., is the Air Force’s first-ever field unit to be equipped with a Federal Aviation Administration- and USAF-certified 3D printer capable of producing aircraft parts. Typically, parts that don’t keep the aircraft from performing their mission don’t have as high as a priority for replacement.”
According to MSgt. John Higgs, the squadron’s metals technology section chief, in the release, “We already have a list from the Air Force level to help them print and to backfill some supplies. This will ensure other bases can replace items sooner than expected with our help.”

Travis Maintenance Squadron First to Produce Certified, 3D-Printed Parts

Relativity Space to build the first rocket 3D Printing factory

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With backing from NASA, rocket startup Relativity Space is creating the first autonomous rocket factory. The company is planning to produce 95% of rocket components with 3D printing, and the first orbital launch is expected in late 2020.

 

This is a guest contribution by Egor Driagin, Chief Marketing Officer at Top 3D Shop

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Source: www.relativityspace.com

The new agreement will provide the California-based startup with exclusive access to NASA’s infrastructure and financial aid from the Mississippi Development Authority for building a large-scale highly automated 3D printing rocket factory. The company will lease a 20,000-square-meter building at NASA’s John C. Stennis Space Center for nine years. The test stands and all the necessary equipment on the site allow for convenient engine testing. The agreement provides an option to extend the lease for another 10 years. The company aims to create 200 jobs and invest $59 million in the state. In exchange, the state of Mississippi offers a reimbursement of expenses and a tax incentive package.

image2.jpgSource: www.relativityspace.com

The new factory will produce Relativity Space’s first 3D printed rocket – Terran 1. This vehicle can carry up to 2,756 lbs. into low Earth orbit. Both stages will be powered by 3D printed Aeon engines fueled by methane and liquid oxygen. The first stage will be powered by nine engines, stage two will be equipped with only one. The rocket is priced at $10 million per launch. It is expected that due to the use of the 3D printing technology the manufacturing cycle will not exceed 60 days. 

Although the company is planning to construct its own launch facility, the first rockets will be launched from Cape Canaveral. The launchpad and all the supporting infrastructure will be provided by the U.S. Air Force. The company was allowed to use Launch Complex (LC) 16, which was built for tests of Titan I and Titan II, and then Pershing I and Pershing II missiles. The last launch took place there in 1988. 

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Source: www.relativityspace.com

Most of the metal parts will be manufactured by Stargate, Relativity Space’s first 3D printer. The scalable system features multi-axis robotic arms with lasers. The machine uses metal wire feedstock as a printing material. In February 2019, Relativity Space was granted a machine learning 3D metal printing patent, issued for “real-time adaptive control of additive manufacturing processes using machine learning” (US20180341248A1).

“This agreement demonstrates again NASA’s commitment to work with our industry partners to expand commercial access to low Earth orbit. This helps NASA maintain focus on the ambitious Artemis program that will land the first female and the next male on the south pole of the Moon by 2024,” said Rick Gilbrech, director of  Stennis Space Center. “Relativity is a valuable member of the Stennis federal city and we look forward to building on our already successful partnership.”

The first orbital launch is expected in 2020. The company is planning to enter the commercial market in 2021.

 

3D-printing a lunar base

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According to European Space Agency, ESA, “Could astronauts one day be printing rather than building a base on the Moon? In 2013 ESA, working with industrial partners, proved that 3D printing using lunar material was feasible in principle. Since then, work continues to investigate the technique. The shielding against radiation provided by a 3D-printed block of simulated lunar regolith was measured, providing important inputs for next-stage designs.”
According to ESA(Now),” astronaut Luca Parmitano has arrived on the International Space Station following a six-hour flight in the Russian Soyuz MS-13 spacecraft alongside NASA astronaut Drew Morgan and Roscosmos cosmonaut Alexander Skvortsov.”

From comments,

4 years ago

This is all good except the “3d printing material” should be the regolith itself melted by focused solar energy. This way the printers could print an inexhaustible™ supply of infrastructure from roads to sinks to rail-launch systems and so on. You would want one specialized printer for printing the things that can’t be made from regolith. (control circuits, actuators, etc.)

I really hope NASA and ESA team up to explore the rest of our solar system and beyond.

3Years ago
Nice, would be able to put an observatory on the moon and make it a refuel station for further travel and a back up for rescue if needed also can make a shipbuilding/repair station safer launches don’t have to fight the gravity and atmosphere burn up, can also make a relay station put a full array of satellites on the moon.
It would be simpler and cheaper to ship high explosives to the moon and use them to excavate a cylindrical chamber into the side of a large crater (like building a tunnel on earth) and then seal off the end, pressurize, and occupy. Much roomier, more protection from radiation and meteor impacts. This 3-D printer idea is dull and uninspiring.
This is great news potentially. I hope one day we can live in space or the moon.

Now
2019: HASSEL wants to print a 3D mars base.

 

Why 3D printing could be key to a Moon base

 

ESA’s Purpose

MEET ASTRONAUT LUCA PARMITANO