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  [ISS] Made in Space, Inc. zero-gravity 3D printer

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Author Topic:   [ISS] Made in Space, Inc. zero-gravity 3D printer
Robert Pearlman
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From: Houston, TX
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posted 09-19-2014 05:55 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
collectSPACE
First zero-g 3D printer is space-bound, but what will be Made In Space first?

The first-ever item to be 3D printed in space is being kept a well-guarded secret.

The first 3D printer designed to operate in zero gravity is set to launch to the International Space Station Sunday morning (Sept. 21) on board a NASA-contracted SpaceX Dragon cargo spacecraft. Once installed, the machine will be put through tests to learn if additive manufacturing — better known as 3D printing — is viable in space.

"Being able to make what you need on orbit when you need it is a real game changer," Niki Werkheiser, NASA's manager for 3D Printing in Zero-G, a joint project with the company Made In Space, Inc. said. "The first printer we're flying is a technology demonstration, and it's that because the station is the only platform in the universe where we can print an entire part in microgravity."

But what part to print first?

Robert Pearlman
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From: Houston, TX
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posted 11-18-2014 10:33 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
NASA release
3-D Printer Powered Up on the International Space Station

NASA on Monday (Nov. 17) took a big step toward changing the way we plan for long-duration space voyages when astronaut Barry "Butch" Wilmore successfully installed and prepared the first 3-D printer for upcoming manufacturing operations on the International Space Station.

"This printer is a critical first step for in-space manufacturing," said Jason Crusan, director of NASA's Advanced Exploration Systems Division at NASA Headquarters in Washington. "Additive manufacturing with 3-D printers will allow space crews to be less reliant on supply missions from Earth and lead to sustainable, self-reliant exploration missions where resupply is difficult and costly. The space station provides the optimal place to perfect this technology in microgravity."

Wilmore installed the printer in the station's Microgravity Science Glovebox and started the printer, which extruded plastic to form the first of a series of calibration coupons, a small plastic sample about the size of a postage stamp. After calibration of the printer is complete and verified, the printer will make the first NASA-designed 3-D printed object in space. The goal of the 3-D Printing in Zero-G Technology Demonstration on the space station is to show that additive manufacturing can make a variety of parts and tools in space. The 3-D printer heats a relatively low-temperature plastic filament to build parts layer on top of layer in designs supplied to the machine.

Before the printer left Earth in September 2014 on SpaceX's fourth commercial cargo resupply mission, engineers loaded the first files to be printed. These initial parts -- primarily test coupons -- will be returned to Earth for detailed analysis and comparison to identical ground control samples made earlier this year prior to launch with the same printer while it was at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama.

"The goal of the first phase of printing is to verify that the 3-D printing process works the same in microgravity as it does on the ground," said Niki Werkheiser, NASA's 3-D printer project manager at Marshall. "Once we confirm that the process works, we will move to the second phase of printing which focuses more on the design and utilization of the parts we print, which will ultimately lead to establishing an on-demand machine shop in space."

NASA contracted Made In Space, Inc. at NASA's Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, California, to design and build the printer. Going forward, Made In Space engineers will use NASA-provided software and work with controllers at NASA's Payload Operations Integration Center (POIC) in Huntsville to send commands directly to the printer from the ground. As the first objects are printed, NASA and Made In Space engineers will monitor printing via downlinked images and videos. The majority of the printing process is controlled from the ground to limit crew time required for operations.

"We're approaching the most exciting moment of this experiment after years of intensive work, which dates back to Made In Space's first microgravity testing with NASA's Flight Opportunities Program in 2011," said Aaron Kemmer, CEO of Made In Space, Inc. "Our team is on standby to send the command to print the first object in space. We are taking everything we are learning on the space station and using it to design an even more elaborate 3-D printer, which will be available for anyone to use."

That printer is scheduled to be launched to the station next year and will be available to meet manufacturing needs of both NASA and commercial users.

NASA invited students to propose what they would print in space as part of a Future Engineers competition. Students can create and submit a digital 3-D model of a tool they think astronauts need in space. The winning student will watch from the POIC alongside the operations control team as their design is printed in space. The deadline for entry is Dec. 15.

Robert Pearlman
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Posts: 32116
From: Houston, TX
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posted 11-25-2014 08:12 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
collectSPACE
Space station's 3D printer makes first part

The International Space Station, as its name implies, was assembled from parts that were made around the world. For the first time in its history however, the orbiting outpost has gained a part like no other.

It was made in space.

At 4:28 p.m. EST (0928 GMT) Monday (Nov. 24), the first 3D printer designed to be operated in space successfully manufactured its first part on board the space station. The print marked the first time hardware has been additively produced off-planet, rather than launching it from Earth.

The history-making part was the faceplate for the printer's own extruder printhead. Leaving absolutely no question of where it was made, or who made it, the faceplate included its own "Made In Space" label.

sts205cdr
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Posts: 618
From: Sacramento, CA
Registered: Jun 2001

posted 11-25-2014 08:42 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for sts205cdr   Click Here to Email sts205cdr     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Argh! Not the Wurm logo! Didn't they get the memo?!

OV-105
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Posts: 645
From: Ridgecrest, CA USA
Registered: Sep 2000

posted 11-26-2014 01:57 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for OV-105   Click Here to Email OV-105     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Somewhere Dan Goldin is having a fit right now.

mikej
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Posts: 436
From: Germantown, WI USA
Registered: Jan 2004

posted 11-26-2014 05:42 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mikej   Click Here to Email mikej     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by sts205cdr:
Argh! Not the Wurm logo!
That was my first thought, too!

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 32116
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 11-26-2014 05:51 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The meatball is a much more complex logo to print, and besides the worm is making a comeback! A number of the new exploration tools and vehicles being designed and tested at Johnson Space Center include the worm on ID plates.

sts205cdr
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Posts: 618
From: Sacramento, CA
Registered: Jun 2001

posted 11-26-2014 06:17 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for sts205cdr   Click Here to Email sts205cdr     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
If they have to resort to printing the Wurm because it's not complicated, they don't have much of a chance with this device.

The return of the Wurm? Where is the NO desk?!

Robert Pearlman
Editor

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From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 11-26-2014 06:49 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This was the first print using a device that itself is an experiment. The second printer, which this unit will inform, will be what what government and commercial customers can use.

But besides all that, the worm has its own appeal to the post-Apollo generation. Maybe you haven't noticed our logo?

tegwilym
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Posts: 2308
From: Crest Airpark (S36) Kent, WA
Registered: Jan 2000

posted 11-30-2014 02:12 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for tegwilym   Click Here to Email tegwilym     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Now we just wait and see who in our collector community gets the first "space printed" artifact in their collection.

I'm sure Robert will beat us all to it.

Robert Pearlman
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Posts: 32116
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 12-01-2014 03:05 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I think it's going to be some time before a 3D printed artifact from space ends up in private hands — though Made In Space did say they were sending me something in the mail recently...

In the meantime, here's video of the faceplate being printed in space:

Robert Pearlman
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From: Houston, TX
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posted 12-16-2014 03:58 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Made In Space's 3D printer was used today (Dec. 16) to print a ratchet:

Robert Pearlman
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From: Houston, TX
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posted 12-29-2014 02:00 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
collectSPACE
How to 3D print a space station wrench as emailed to orbit

The first-ever hand tool to be emailed up to the International Space Station can now be downloaded to anywhere on Earth.

NASA and Made In Space, Inc., which partnered to install the first zero-g 3D printer onboard the orbiting laboratory, have released the file used to 3D print a ratcheting socket wrench on the space station earlier this month. The 4.5-inch-long (11.4 centimeter) tool was not the first 3D object to be printed off the planet but it made history as the first part to be transmitted to space for manufacture.

Win a 3D printed space station ratchet! Click through to article for details.

Cozmosis22
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Posts: 506
From: Texas * Earth
Registered: Apr 2011

posted 12-29-2014 02:13 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Cozmosis22     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
That little ratchet wrench is interesting but like Legos it is a toy not a tool?

Robert Pearlman
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posted 12-29-2014 02:26 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It is a functioning tool with moving parts but more than that it is a test of the Made In Space 3D printer. During phase two of the print tests (starting early next year), MIS and NASA will be seeking to replicate tools already in use in space.

cfreeze79
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Posts: 327
From: Martinez, CA, USA
Registered: Nov 2000

posted 01-11-2015 09:27 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for cfreeze79   Click Here to Email cfreeze79     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
So who won the tool?

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 32116
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 01-11-2015 09:40 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Apologies, I meant to post it here on Friday. As announced on Twitter:
Congratulations to @nicholasilopez, winner of our #WinASpaceRatchet contest!

And special thanks to @3DSolidSolution for providing the 3D prints for our article and #WinASpaceRatchet contest!

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 32116
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 01-26-2015 08:48 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Made In Space has provided an update on the status of their 3D printer on the space station.
The world's first Zero-Gravity 3D Printer has completed its initial task. Fourteen unique objects have now been additively manufactured on the International Space Station as part of the "3D Printing in Zero-Gravity Technology Demonstration."

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 32116
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 01-27-2015 03:18 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by tegwilym:
Now we just wait and see who in our collector community gets the first "space printed" artifact in their collection.
I'd love to say this was printed in space, but it's the next best thing...
Our friends at Made In Space, the company behind the International Space Station's Zero-G 3D printer, surprised us with this 3D printed version of the collectSPACE logo.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 32116
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 04-07-2015 06:23 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
NASA Marshall Space Flight Center video release
NASA Unboxes Delivery from Space Station

Watch the unboxing of some special cargo from the International Space Station as Quincy Bean, the principal investigator for the space station printer, removes and inspects the first items made in space with a 3D printer.

To protect the space-manufactured items, they must remain in bags until inspection is complete and testing begins at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. More than 20 parts were "unboxed" on April 6, 2015, at Marshall's Additive Manufacturing Laboratory.

Additive manufacturing has the potential to change the way we resupply the space station and will be critical for deep space missions to Mars, asteroids and other places.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 32116
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 04-16-2015 03:14 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
collectSPACE
Made In Space launches 'space-grade' 3D printing material for sale

They made 3D printing in space possible. They made the files used to 3D print in space available. Now, they're making the material used to 3D print in space for sale.

Made In Space, Inc., the California-based startup behind the zero-g 3D printer used by NASA astronauts aboard the International Space Station, announced on Thursday (April 16) they have begun to service terrestrial-based markets by offering the same "space-grade" plastic feedstock used in the first additive manufacturing demonstration in space.

"We selected our material after testing dozens of different vendors and have determined it to be some of the highest quality available," Matthew Napoli, Made In Space director of in space manufacturing, said in a statement.

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