Hello ATS…….Got some pretty cool news here. Well, actually, some very cool news. 3D printing is moving into space! This is something we’ve discussed before here on ATS as something that NASA should do but now it’s really happening. A company known as Made in Space has developed a zero gravity 3D printer prototype. With this prototype, Astronauts will be able to print tools, food, and the real kicker will be large scale structures! That’s righ! Made in Space is teaming up with Boeing to build what’s called “Archinaut.” A large-scale 3D printer with an arm which will build large structures in orbit.
The robot’s body is a 3D printer that makes parts from a digital design, which can be even larger than the printer itself. A robotic arm attached to the printer can piece these homegrown parts together with other pre-fabricated parts into a larger structure. No human required.
The initial phase of the project will wrap up in 2018 when Archinaut will demonstrate the ability to 3D print and assemble structures in orbit. If all goes to plan, the team hopes to scale the printer up and add more robotic arms.
And that’s when the fun begins. The in-orbit manufacturing Archinaut promises would liberate missions from the typical constraints of launch.
This is exciting news, ATS. The time has come for the future to unfold before our eyes. This new technology will open up the universe in ways yet to imagine. Things will get really good when 4-D printing gets into Space.