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December 11, 2014 AT 2:00 am

Why The First Meaningful Thing To Be 3-D Printed In Space Will Be A Buckle #3DxSpace #3DThursday #3DPrinting

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Why The First Meaningful Thing To Be 3-D Printed In Space Will Be A Buckle. From FastCompany:

…Designed by former flight surgeon and astronaut Yvonne Cagle, the buckle is intended to tighten a compression strap that prevents muscle loss and maintains heart strength in zero-gravity conditions—a persistent challenge for space health.

“I became very intrigued with what would happen if you could get the G [gravity] suit and actually used it to recondition the body,” Cagle says. “Until we can print humans, we have to keep the human body conditioned so it can perform its tasks while living in space for extended periods of time,” she says.

In designing the buckle, Cagle and Made in Space faced an engineering challenge: how to make the device strong enough to withstand the rigors of space flight. “In order to get there you need something that is going to be a really powerful stabilizer but has a small enough footprint and is simple enough to fix or print more if you need it.” ….

Read More.

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