3D printing has recently gained momentum in many industries, allowing companies in automotive, aerospace, and medical fields to develop products and methods quicker than they’ve ever been able to before.
In partnership with NASA, Made in Space, Inc. recently announced that they’ll be sending one of their custom 3D printers to the International Space Station in August of 2014. The benefits of being able to print in space are clear: envision the potential lowering of NASA’s costs by granting crew members the ability to print new tools and replacement parts. The ability to print in space also alleviates them from having to go through the slow and expensive (a whopping $10K/lb.) process of transporting equipment up to the station.
Made in Space has tested various printing methods in hundreds of parabolic airplane flights that produce brief periods of weightlessness since 2011, and will continue with testing leading up to August of next year.