News

News

Industy News| NASA PUBLISHES FINDINGS FROM FIRST 3D PRINTER IN SPACE, CONFIRMS NEW MISSIONS

Date: 2018-11-08
Views: 307

After four years aboard the International Space Station (ISS), NASA has confirmed it’s mission complete for phase I and II of the Made In Space operated “3D Printing in Zero G Technology Demonstration.” 

The findings of this mission, accepted October 2018, were used in development of the Made In Space Additive Manufacturing Facility (AMF) which has been operating aboard the ISS since 2015. With this facility, and the early stage data, NASA confirms that it is one step closer to “transforming logistics for long-duration space exploration” and enhancing crew safety for extended space missions.

The agency is now looking toward other potential solutions to cut down the reliance on supplies from Earth.

Industy News| NASA PUBLISHES FINDINGS FROM FIRST 3D PRINTER IN SPACE, CONFIRMS NEW MISSIONS

Tooling around on the International Space Station. A 3D printed KOBALT wrench made by the Additive Manufacturing Facility. Photo via Made in Space/NASA


The aim of phase I and II of this NASA mission was to provide a proof of concept for 3D printing in space. In order to do so, NASA researchers had to determine whether low gravity conditions had any effect on print quality and, further, if there were any discrepancies between 3D printing in simulated “Zero G” and the real thing aboard the ISS.

Initially, as the report explains, “results indicated differences in density and mechanical properties of specimens printed in microgravity and those manufactured with the printer prior to its launch to ISS.” However, on further analysis in phase II, the team determined that these discrepancies were due to “subtle changes in manufacturing process settings rather than a microgravity influence on the FFF process.”

In a holistic consideration between phase I and II, it was also determined that changes in extruder standoff distance had “no engineering-significant” impact on the overall quality of the finished print.

Structured light scanning and CT were used to compare the quality of 3D printed parts to its CAD counterpart. As demonstrated by the diagram below there is little variance between the CAD model and samples 3D printed in “optimal” and “sub-optimal” conditions. As a result, the authors report, “geometric variation of the resulting specimen relative to the CAD model is not incredibly sensitive to differences in manufacturing processing conditions changed during the course of operations.”

While there are some inconsistencies in the layer quality of these pillars, the differences are still present across all datasets, making them unrelated to microgravity conditions.

Industy News| NASA PUBLISHES FINDINGS FROM FIRST 3D PRINTER IN SPACE, CONFIRMS NEW MISSIONS

Geometric mapping of a 3D printed test pillar compared to its CAD data – red areas highlight dramatic areas of difference. Top row: pillars 3D printed with optimal extruder settings. Bottom row: pillars 3D printed with sub-optimal extruder settings. Image via The International Journal of Advanced Manufacturing Technology


Moving to “truly earth-independent exploration initiatives”

The work performed in this study is part of NASA’s wider In-Space Manufacturing (ISM) project. As detailed by the research, NASA has already awarded a number development grants to companies seeking to take the ISM project on to the next stage. Current focus projects include:

– An In-space Recycler demo, i.e. the Refabricator by Tethers Unlimited which was set to launch this year.

– The ability to 3D print with stronger materials and metals or, specifically, the Made In Space Vulcan Hybrid Manufacturing System.

– Microgravity 3D printed electronics.

– And a FabLab, for multmaterial fabrication.

According to the ISM technology development roadmap, NASA is aiming to undertake initial robotic/remote planetary missions to aid in fabrication from 2020. Between 2020 and 2025 the goal is to then move toward using more in situ materials, e.g. Mars and Lunar regolith for 3D printed construction.

Industy News| NASA PUBLISHES FINDINGS FROM FIRST 3D PRINTER IN SPACE, CONFIRMS NEW MISSIONS


In-Space Manufacturing (ISM) Project timeline. Image via NTRS/NASA

As the author’s state in the conclusions of these most recent findings:

“THE 3D PRINTING IN ZERO G TECHNOLOGY DEMONSTRATION MISSION AND THE ISM ACTIVITIES STEMMING FROM IT REPRESENT THE FIRST STEPS ON THE PATH TOWARD SUSTAINABLE, TRULY EARTH-INDEPENDENT EXPLORATION INITIATIVES.”

“3D Printing in Zero G Technology Demonstration Mission: complete experimental results and summary of related material modeling effort,” is published online in The International Journal of Advanced Manufacturing Technology. The paper is co-authored by Tracie Prater, Niki Werkheiser, Frank Ledbetter, Dogan Timucin, Kevin Wheeler and Mike Snyder.


via: https://3dprintingindustry.com/news/nasa-publishes-findings-from-first-3d-printer-in-space-confirms-new-missions-142781/

News / Recommended news More
2019 - 09 - 18
Singapore’s Housing and Development Board (HDB) is reportedly preparing to introduce 3D printed landscape furniture and architectural elements to new estates being built in Tengah and Bidadari. The announcement suggests that Singapore’s Housing Board is interested in exploring the potential of 3D printing not just for design or furniture elements but also for construction applications.In the ...
2019 - 09 - 11
In the early days of additive manufacturing (AM), the technology was primarily focused on design and rapid prototyping applications. However, recent additive manufacturing is progressively being employed to create high-performance mechanical components from refractory and technical materials.This is particularly common in space and aerospace engineering, where the combination of affordability, ver...
2019 - 09 - 06
For nearly 100 years, scientists thought they understood everything there was to know about how metals bend. They were wrong.Materials science and engineering researchers at the University of Wisconsin (UW)-Madison have now demonstrated that the rules of metal-bending aren't so hard and fast after all. Their surprising discovery not only upends previous notions about how metals deform, but co...
2019 - 08 - 28
Dr Daniel Penello, of Alexander Orthopaedic Associates, St. Petersburg, Florida, USA, has successfully implanted what is said to be the US’s first metal additively manufactured finger bone implant. The implant was designed for patient Robert Smith, whose middle distal phalanx was shattered in an ironworking accident in 2017.Smith was initially presented with the choice to live with the injury – wh...
Share:
Uniris Exhibition Shanghai Co., Ltd.
Shanghai Branch 
Tel: 4000 778 909 
E-mail:irisexpo@163.com
Guangzhou Branch
Tel:020-8327 6389
Email:pmchina@unifair.com
PM CHINA Official Website
犀牛云提供企业云服务
Scan the QR code to visit the official website by phone