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Print 28 comment(s) - last by GeekWithFire.. on Oct 7 at 10:06 AM

3-D printer will be used to make repair parts and tools

NASA has announced that it intends to send a 3-D printer to the International Space Station in 2014. NASA says that astronauts living aboard the ISS would use the 3-D printer to make spare parts and tools in zero gravity. Once the printer arrives at the ISS, it will mark the first time a 3-D printer has been used in space.

"If you want to be adaptable, you have to be able to design and manufacture on the fly, and that's where 3D printing in space comes in,'' said Dave Korsmeyer, director of engineering at NASA’s Ames Research Center.

NASA and other ISS partner nations hope that using a 3-D printer on the space station could help reduce the costs for future missions. The printer NASA sends to the ISS won't be your typical off-the-shelf 3-D printer. It will be beefed up to withstand the stresses of liftoff and to operate in a weightless environment.

"Imagine an astronaut needing to make a life-or-death repair on the International Space Station," said Aaron Kemmer, Made in Space CEO. "Rather than hoping that the necessary parts and tools are on the station already, what if the parts could be 3D printed when they needed them?"

It's unclear exactly what sort of material NASA will use in the printer; 3-D printers typically use a polymer material, but there are 3-D printers able to use titanium and nickel-chromium powers to build stronger components.
 
Back in July, NASA successfully tested 3-D printed rocket engine components.

Source: BBC



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Who approved this?
By othercents on 10/1/2013 11:21:45 AM , Rating: 5
Now they can make guns on the space station.




RE: Who approved this?
By GulWestfale on 10/1/2013 12:47:02 PM , Rating: 2
so they can do what, kill themselves? why not blow yourself in the rocket, and go out with a bang? and how exactly would they get access to the gun software? would they not only run NASA approved software? anyway, ignoring your idiotic post, think of the benefits: this is a trial run for something bigger, like assembling a spacecraft in space, with parts printed out in space. that means huge energy savings. and then the printers could be sent to the moon or mars, and begin constructing habitats. not these small ones obviously, but larger ones.

maybe americans should be banned from the moon or from mars, so as to avoid spreading their obsessions with guns, racial issues that everyone else has long gotten over, and morally corrupt "christians".


RE: Who approved this?
By Mitch101 on 10/1/2013 1:34:34 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
why not blow yourself in the rocket

ROFLMAO


RE: Who approved this?
By GulWestfale on 10/1/2013 1:40:52 PM , Rating: 2
i suppose i'd have to have a few ribs removed.... (-_-)


RE: Who approved this?
By nudestbob on 10/1/2013 3:52:32 PM , Rating: 2
Lmao I guess no one else got it


RE: Who approved this?
By XZerg on 10/1/2013 1:52:58 PM , Rating: 2
or while in orbit make components that are light weight but space consuming that can do without during the flight. So it is indeed a good idea to send out the printer. hopefully it is a big enough to perform most jobs.

the energy can be gained for solar or the generic fuel source like radio-isotopes.


RE: Who approved this?
By amanojaku on 10/1/2013 1:55:08 PM , Rating: 2
Pretty sure the OP was being sarcastic...


RE: Who approved this?
By troysavary on 10/1/2013 1:59:27 PM , Rating: 1
Wow, way to prove yourself an idiot with that anti-American and anti-Christian rant. BTW, the OP was making a joke, dumbass.


RE: Who approved this?
By GulWestfale on 10/1/2013 2:25:07 PM , Rating: 1
let's all but guns, waste all our money on the military so our corporations can steal oil (while the state is too bankrupt to even function any more), watch hate preachers on TV (sorry, i mean "TV evangelists"), turn every minor event into something about race, and react like a spoiled 3-year old when someone dares criticize us.
HURR DURR 'MERIKKKA HURR DURR


RE: Who approved this?
By amanojaku on 10/1/2013 3:32:03 PM , Rating: 3
Your anti-American rant is offensive and ignorant.
quote:
let's all but guns
Less than 50% of Americans own guns. Despite the fact that there are nearly 90 guns per 100 people, the majority of those guns belong to owners who have more than one. And those guns are used for various purposes, such as hunting and recreation. Most guns are rifles, with handguns coming in a close second. Handguns are what are typically used for crimes, meaning a minority of the country uses guns for crime.
quote:
waste all our money on the military
Military spending is only 19% of the government outlay. We spend more money on Social Security (22%) and Medicare/Medicaid (23%) than we do on the military. And we would ALL like to see our taxes and spending decrease. Our politicians don't listen to us once they get in office.
quote:
so our corporations can steal oil
Where are you getting this crap from?
quote:
(while the state is too bankrupt to even function any more)
No argument there. The problem is waste due to the inefficiency of a large government.
quote:
watch hate preachers on TV (sorry, i mean "TV evangelists")
We arrest them, too. Look up Terry Jones.
quote:
turn every minor event into something about race
Americans don't do that, the media does. And I've been abroad. The rest of the world can't claim to be racially tolerant, or less sensational. Look at Greece and Golden Dawn. Or France and its racism due to immigration. Racism is everywhere in the world, and it's very real.
quote:
and react like a spoiled 3-year old when someone dares criticize us. HURR DURR 'MERIKKKA HURR DURR
With intelligent posts like yours, it's no surprise you'd get a reaction...

I tried posting links, but DT's filters just bounce me back to the article without even complaining about spam. Not that I'd expect you to read them.


RE: Who approved this?
By Reclaimer77 on 10/2/2013 10:20:33 AM , Rating: 2
Troy why do we fight so much lol? I'm reading this post and its like EXACTLY how I was going to respond to him myself.

Nicely done :)


RE: Who approved this?
By jimbojimbo on 10/1/2013 3:26:08 PM , Rating: 2
You need to get that stick out of your ass. It was a joke.


RE: Who approved this?
By theslug on 10/1/2013 3:58:52 PM , Rating: 2
I'm American, don't have an obsession with guns, and have no issues with other races.

Perhaps we should be banning people who make absurd, faulty generalizations.


RE: Who approved this?
By Alexvrb on 10/1/2013 11:20:21 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
maybe americans should be banned from the moon or from mars, so as to avoid spreading their obsessions with guns, racial issues that everyone else has long gotten over, and morally corrupt "christians".
Whoa! That has got to be the tallest horse I have ever seen. How's the view from up there? I suppose I should congratulate you... you've managed to demonstrate that you can be a pompous jerk AND an ignoramus simultaneously. Hey, I've got an idea... why don't you go back to blowing yourself in the rocket?


RE: Who approved this?
By retrospooty on 10/1/2013 1:14:20 PM , Rating: 2
This is a great idea... Remember Apollo 13. We have to make this , fit that, using these... Nope, just print this.


RE: Who approved this?
By glenn8 on 10/1/2013 2:16:58 PM , Rating: 2
Still need to 3D print bullets though.


New 3D printer technology?
By joeRocket on 10/1/2013 12:35:48 PM , Rating: 2
I'm curious to know what kind of 3D printer NASA is sending, because as far as I know all current 3D printers require gravity to hold down the part being constructed on a tray and to build the piece also requires gravity to lay down each layer?




RE: New 3D printer technology?
By Flunk on 10/1/2013 2:26:16 PM , Rating: 2
That was what I was wondering as well. I don't think anyone has tried to build a 3D printer that operates without gravity before.


RE: New 3D printer technology?
By Souka on 10/1/2013 3:09:22 PM , Rating: 2
Same thoughts here.

I'd guess the melted plastic will be thick, and actively cooled to prevent issues.


So...
By RTS1 on 10/1/2013 3:30:55 PM , Rating: 3
Tea. Earl Grey. Hot.




RE: So...
By GulWestfale on 10/1/2013 6:14:04 PM , Rating: 2
"I'd like to get my hands on that fellow Earl Grey and tell him a thing or two about... tea leaves."


typo
By ilkhan on 10/1/2013 1:25:30 PM , Rating: 2
but there are 3-D printers able to use titanium and nickel-chromium powders to build stronger components.




RE: typo
By Graviton on 10/1/2013 5:57:35 PM , Rating: 2
I've always wished I could have super powders :(


Yes, But
By sudz on 10/2/2013 10:49:04 AM , Rating: 2
Are they bringing a second 3D printer to print out parts to repair the first 3D printer when it breaks?




RE: Yes, But
By nomasteryoda on 10/3/2013 11:43:16 AM , Rating: 2
They can print as many 3D printers as they need.


About time
By Jaybus on 10/1/2013 2:33:42 PM , Rating: 2
It's about time they went to 3D printing. It only makes sense. Shipping things up to the ISS is very expensive. A certain mass of raw material takes up much less cargo space than a bunch of pre-made parts and is pretty much immune to the effects of launch. Also, there are too many parts to have spares of everything on hand. That leaves more room for shipping and storing things that must come from Earth....like food, O2, water, electronics, etc.




Very Cool Idea
By deltaend on 10/2/2013 2:05:00 AM , Rating: 2
They could load up hundreds of designs into the computer for different parts, tools, etc... and if a specific item was required, they could print it out instead of having to have on hand spares. Not only could they cut the load down from the launch, but updating the machine would only require a data-link back to NASA to upload more specs and perhaps more raw printer materials.

It wouldn't work for everything, but the Apollo 13 crew would have loved to have one of these.




Replicator
By GeekWithFire on 10/7/2013 10:06:05 AM , Rating: 2
If it is anything but a Replicator (MakerBot), somebody missed a great Trek moment.




"The Space Elevator will be built about 50 years after everyone stops laughing" -- Sir Arthur C. Clarke

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