3D Printing in Space is a Star Trek Replicator IRL
Star Trek Replicators IRL
3D printing in space
What I find most exciting about this story is the relevance to Star Trek. What this is basically describing is the origins of a replicator. If Captain Pickard wants a hot tea he can simply ask for one from the replicator in his captains quarters.
Found at Gizmag.com:
The 3D Printing in Zero G Experiment or 3D Print is the first device for 3D printing in space. Built by Californian company Made in Space, it’s based on the standard principle of extrusion additive manufacturing that creates objects by adding layers of polymers, ceramics, metals or other materials. Though it’s not specified which material will be used in the space experiment, it’s likely to be a polymer, as it is relatively easy to handle without a substratum of powder to support it as the layers are built up (which would add an additional degree of difficulty in zero gravity).
NASA and Made in Space have big plans for 3D printing in the conquest of space. “Imagine an astronaut needing to make a life-or-death repair on the International Space Station,” says Aaron Kemmer, CEO of Made in Space. “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?”