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Recently, a company called Made in Space successfully completed a testing period of two 3D printers on numerous zero-gravity NASA flights. As a result, a scaled-down wrench has become the first tool ever printed in partial zero-gravity... 
   
These 3D printers work in a similar fashion to standard printers.  However, rather than printing layers of ink on paper, 3D printers create objects with layers of “feedstock” (metal, plastic, etc.).
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Allegedly, according to Samantha Murphy at TechNewsDaily, the printing of parts in space could “eventually be transplanted to other worlds such as the moon, where it could help human colonies gain a foothold by printing out robot parts or buildings, piece by piece. “ If this comes into fruition, 3D printers will eventually enable other structures to be built in space such as satellites and spacecrafts.

CEO and Co-Founder of Made in Space, Alex Kemmer, optimistically proclaims that “3D printing and in-space manufacturing will dramatically change the way we look at space exploration, commercialization, and mission design today. The possibilities range from building on-demand parts for human missions to building large space habitats that are optimized for space.”

    Within three years, Made in Space intends to have a functional 3D printer in space.  According to CTO and co-founder of Made in Space, Jason Dunn, Made in Space already knew “3D printing works in zero-gravity to some degree.” What Made in Space is trying to find out now is how well it works. As a result, we can expect more zero-gravity testing to arise within the next couple of years.

    Hopefully, Made in Space’s predictions are accurate and we see a functional 3D printer in space within the next three years since creating space stations and equipment in space would certainly be more economical.


Written By: Jenna Elizabeth

Sources:
http://madeinspace.us/ http://madeinspace.us/3d-printers-tested-in-zero-gravity

http://www.space.com/12466-3d-printers-create-tools-space.html






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