Orbiting 3D Printer Completes First Tests
Fabbaloo posted on January 29, 2015 |
Now that NASA has a 3DPrinter aboard the ISS, what's it been printing? More importantly, does it wor...

3D printing, Fabbaloo, Space, ISS, NASA

The prototype 3D printer that’s been installed on the International Space Station has just completed its first round of tests. 

In a post on Medium, the team from Made In Space, the manufacturers of the high-flying 3D printer, explain what’s happened since the machine was installed late last year. 

The machine is a first; no similar manufacturing technology has ever been attempted in orbit, so testing was obviously required. NASA and Made In Space created a set of progressively more difficult test objects to produce, each investigating various properties of the 3D printing process as operating in a micro-gravity environment. Beginning with a simple test “coupon” to see if the process worked at all, and ending with a spectacular working ratchet, it appears the Made In Space machine passed all tests. (Note: we duplicated this particular print on the ground.)

In the image at top you can see the specific tests involved. Most items were printed only once, but a three were printed multiple times (calibration coupon, tensile test and flex test) in order to determine consistency from print-to-print. 

Here is the most startling finding of this series of tests: every single print attempt worked perfectly without incident. 

Read More at Fabbaloo

Recommended For You