Looks like they are ahead of schedule! Made In Space 3D Printer Headed for Space Station!
Due to the project meeting all milestones with minimal risk, the 3D Printer has been moved up to a launch on SpaceX CRS-4 in August 2014 instead of the originally slatedSpaceX CRS-5.
The 3D printer was subjected to a series of tests at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) with the goal of verifying that the hardware met NASA safety and operational requirements for ISS use. These tests included Electromagnetic Interference (EMI), vibration, materials compliance, human factors, electrical, and ISS interface checks. NASA has certified that the hardware meets all necessary operational standards….
The first series of items intended to be 3D printed on the ISS were also tested and will serve as ground controls. The printer will create objects layer by layer using extrusion-based additive manufacturing techniques. Testing of the 3D printer in microgravity is part of the “3D Printing in Zero-G Technology Demonstration” project, a joint venture made possible by a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Awardbetween Made In Space, Inc. and NASA’s MSFC. This experiment is intended to validate the use of Additive Manufacturing, commonly referred to as 3D Printing, in space. This will be the first manufacturing device designed for off-planet use and is an essential technology required for future exploration endeavors….
Once installed in the Microgravity Science Glovebox (MSG) on the ISS, the printer is scheduled to print an initial set of 21 demonstration parts, including a series of test coupons, parts and tools, that will provide meaningful immediate data via downlinked high-definition video, but will also be returned to earth for detailed ground analyses. This first set of prints will serve to verify the printer and extrusion process in microgravity. The next phase will serve to demonstrate utilization of meaningful parts such as crew tools, payload ancillary hardware, and potential commercial applications such as cubesat components….
Every Thursday is #3dthursday here at Adafruit! The DIY 3D printing community has passion and dedication for making solid objects from digital models. Recently, we have noticed electronics projects integrated with 3D printed enclosures, brackets, and sculptures, so each Thursday we celebrate and highlight these bold pioneers!
Have you considered building a 3D project around an Arduino or other microcontroller? How about printing a bracket to mount your Raspberry Pi to the back of your HD monitor? And don’t forget the countless LED projects that are possible when you are modeling your projects in 3D!
The Adafruit Learning System has dozens of great tools to get you well on your way to creating incredible works of engineering, interactive art, and design with your 3D printer! We also offer the LulzBot TAZ – Open source 3D Printer and the Printrbot Simple Metal 3D Printer in our store. If you’ve made a cool project that combines 3D printing and electronics, be sure to let us know, and we’ll feature it here!