3D Printing in Space
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).”
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.”