Dragon Brings Back The First 3D Printed Tools From Space
3D printing is the ultimate technology revolution. It will give people the ability to create, customize and print out almost anything they need. One major arena, where the technology will bring immense convenience, is space travel. Instead of storing a massive inventory of tools and supplies, the astronauts can just print out what they require, when they need it. The testing of 3D printers capabilities in space is underway at the International Space Station(ISS). Now the tools made in space are being brought back to earth for research purposes.
The tools are being brought back to Earth in SpaceX’s Dragon spaceship in its fifth resupply mission. These tools will help the researchers understand the nitty gritty of printing in space. After heavy study, the researchers will validate if the technology is dependable for long duration human flights like a trip to Mars.
The Zero-G printer experiments are a joint project between Nasa and Made in Space. It uses a low-temperature plastic stock. To finish the experimental phase at the ISS, a ratchet wrench was printed, and the designs were fed to the printer directly from the ground station. The lessons learnt from this research will help to further strengthen the utility of 3D printing in the microgravity of space.
3D printing will make access to travel more accessible and economical. Nasa is already testing the technology for creating essential engine bits for its rockets. The technology surely will have a bigger role to play in the field of space travel in the coming future