Author Topic: 3-D Printing in Space  (Read 25536 times)

Offline WindyCity

3-D Printing in Space
« on: 10/20/2014 08:56 PM »
Recently, a 3-D printer designed and manufactured by Made in Space launched to the ISS. It will soon begin testing. This revolutionary technology will be crucial to making long-duration space flight and extraterrestrial colonization possible. In the near term, having to launch only raw materials out of Earthís gravity well, rather than manufactured parts, will not only decrease payload mass, but will also add to the safety and robustness of systems that cannot be serviced easily or cheaply from the home planet. I came across a recently made hour-long video interview with Jason Dunn, a founder and the chief technical officer of Made in Space. If youíre interested in this cutting edge technology, watching it would well be worth your time. Not only is the story of how the company built a 3-D printer that would work in zero-G fascinating, but I learned in more detail why it will help facilitate the exploration and settlement of space. For instance, with this technology less mass will be required to launch from Earth, because objects designed to work only in zero- or low-G, and that donít have to survive the stresses and vibrational loads of launch, can be designed to utilize far less material. Enjoy!


Quote
The Exciting Possibilities of 3D Printing in Zero-G
Thursday, October 16, 3:00 pm


NASA is currently engaged in exploring of 3D printing in space using a printer designed by Made In Space. This printer is designed to work in a microgravity environment to produce space assets in... well... SPACE!
NASA wants to test the idea of making parts inexpensively in orbit as opposed to down here on Earth and launching them to where they need to be.
3D printing serves as a fast and inexpensive way to manufacture parts on-site and on-demand, reducing the need for costly spares on the International Space Station and future spacecraft. Long-term missions would benefit greatly from having onboard manufacturing capabilities. Data and experience gathered in this demonstration will improve future 3-dimensional manufacturing technology and equipment for the space program, allowing a greater degree of autonomy and flexibility for astronauts.
Please join Tony Darnell Dr Carol Christian and Scott Lewis as they discuss this new experiment from NASA with Jason Dunn and Michael Snyder from Made in Space, the company contracted by NASA to build the 3D printer currently being used.
For more information on NASA's 3D Printing in Zero-G Experiment:
http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/1115.html#description
Made in Space:
http://www.madeinspace.us/

View the Hubble Hangout video at .

Offline TrevorMonty

Re: 3-D Printing in Space
« Reply #1 on: 10/20/2014 09:23 PM »
The lastest Space show (19oct ) has Mike Snyder from made in space as guest. I've yet to listen to it.

http://www.thespaceshow.com/

Offline mto

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Re: 3-D Printing in Space
« Reply #2 on: 10/20/2014 11:00 PM »
Also the latest Hubble Hangout:

Streamed live on Oct 16, 2014
+NASA is currently engaged in exploring 3D printing in space using a printer designed by Made In Space.  This printer is designed to work in a microgravity environment to produce space assets in... well... SPACE!

NASA wants to test the idea of making parts inexpensively in orbit as opposed to down here on Earth and launching them to where they need to be.

3D printing serves as a fast and inexpensive way to manufacture parts on-site and on-demand, reducing the need for costly spares on the International Space Station and future spacecraft. Long-term missions would benefit greatly from having onboard manufacturing capabilities. Data and experience gathered in this demonstration will improve future 3-dimensional manufacturing technology and equipment for the space program, allowing a greater degree of autonomy and flexibility for astronauts.

Please join +Tony Darnell Dr +Carol Christian  and +Scott Lewis as they discuss this new experiment from NASA with +Jason Dunn and Michael Snyder from Made in Space, the company contracted by NASA to build the 3D printer currently being used.




Offline TrevorMonty

Re: 3-D Printing in Space
« Reply #3 on: 10/21/2014 09:16 AM »
The video is definitely worth watching, very informative.
Here is a points I picked from the video and Spaceshow.

1) Printer to be used in an enclosed glovebox size compartment. The printer is just one more experiment in the queue to use this glovebox hence the wait.

2) Only prints ABS plastic on this version, next year's commercial version will support a larger range of plastics.

3) NASA did a study of all the parts required to fix recorded failures on ISS. This printer can produce 30% of these parts. NASA reckons 80% of the parts could been produced with current earth based 3D technology.Given a metal and carbon fibre printer I'm picking they will be able to cover most of those 80% parts.

4) Besides making spares and tools,  can also produce lite weight structures for experiments or modifications for experiments. Should allow some experiments quicker turn arounds between attempts. Imagine spend millions getting an experiment in space to find it just needs a small part manufactured to stop it being a write off.

5) Currently working on a machine that can recycle plastic into feedstock, currently working in lab. They could recycle the packaging that supplies are sent in to for shipment to  ISS into something useful. This could also find benefits on earth.

6) Printer very rugged will work from 0-2g, low maintenance no calibration required. I can see uses on earth for a rugged printer eg Ships,oil rig, Antarctic base. May end up be a prestige 3D printer brand.

7) Looking at other developing 3D technology to see if it can be adapted for space. They are now the world experts on doing this so they should be able to charge for this expertise, not stated in interviews but they have to make money.

 




   

Offline rusty

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Re: 3-D Printing in Space
« Reply #4 on: 10/21/2014 09:10 PM »
For practicality and to make full use of this I imagine a small, sealed workbench will be needed alongside it.
At minimum, a vice and Dremel will be needed to clean up edges on fresh parts. More likely, small mods will be made as well as slight repairs to existing parts. Sealed with filters because there's ne reason for astronauts to join the metal-in-the-eye-club - at least not while in orbit.

Offline TrevorMonty

Re: 3-D Printing in Space
« Reply #5 on: 10/21/2014 10:11 PM »
They can take the automation one step further and have an external robotic arm service the printer.
1) Reload feed stock.
2) Remove the printed part.
3) Tidy up / machine printed part in an enclosed box then present finished part to the astronaut.

The more stuff that can be done remotely from earth the better as an astronaut's time is precious.

Offline WindyCity

Re: 3-D Printing in Space
« Reply #6 on: 10/22/2014 12:02 AM »
The Mike Snyder interview on The Space Show was also worth the listen.

I was interested to hear how tough a sell he thinks it will be to convince NASA to utilize 3-D printed parts on the ISS. One  sticking point is the testing that normally gets done on hardware designated for launch. A part that slides off the printer bed could have deformities or material deficiencies that they wouldn't be able to ascertain without having the testing equipment on board. Adopting additive manufacturing will require a change in the agency's accustomed habits.

Offline Robotbeat

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Re: 3-D Printing in Space
« Reply #7 on: 10/22/2014 02:49 AM »
Yeah, characterization is a big issue. Yet to be solved. A micro-CT (X-Ray) system could be a big help, but it'd be bigger than the printer.
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

To the maximum extent practicable, the Federal Government shall plan missions to accommodate the space transportation services capabilities of United States commercial providers. US law http://goo.gl/YZYNt0

Offline WindyCity

Re: 3-D Printing in Space
« Reply #8 on: 10/22/2014 05:21 PM »
Yeah, characterization is a big issue. Yet to be solved. A micro-CT (X-Ray) system could be a big help, but it'd be bigger than the printer.

What would allow them to work around this problem? Reliance on statistical quality control? A long-term experimental program to determine how reliable 3-D printing is?

Offline rusty

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Re: 3-D Printing in Space
« Reply #9 on: 10/23/2014 12:03 AM »
Yeah, characterization is a big issue. Yet to be solved. A micro-CT (X-Ray) system could be a big help, but it'd be bigger than the printer.
What would allow them to work around this problem? Reliance on statistical quality control? A long-term experimental program to determine how reliable 3-D printing is?
No, and no where near that bulky, expensive or time consuming. All they need is what's already on the shelf for diagnosing metalwork (welding and casting), composite construction and many other uses - a hand held sonar.

Offline TrevorMonty

Re: 3-D Printing in Space
« Reply #10 on: 10/23/2014 02:53 AM »
One thing that came out of Made in Space interviews was the need to allow for 3D printing of spares when designing new space stations. Ideally most parts on a new spacestation will be printed on the same printers that will be carried on board. In case of large parts allow for a replaced to be printed from multiple smaller parts and bolted together.



Offline WindyCity

Re: 3-D Printing in Space
« Reply #11 on: 10/23/2014 03:45 AM »
No, and no where near that bulky, expensive or time consuming. All they need is what's already on the shelf for diagnosing metalwork (welding and casting), composite construction and many other uses - a hand held sonar.

If the issue is that easy to resolve, I wonder why Mike Snyder stated that convincing NASA that 3-D printing is reliable will require a lot of heavy-duty persuasion and proof.

One thing that came out of Made in Space interviews was the need to allow for 3D printing of spares when designing new space stations. Ideally most parts on a new spacestation will be printed on the same printers that will be carried on board. In case of large parts allow for a replaced to be printed from multiple smaller parts and bolted together.

Sparing is a big problem. The MIT analysis of Mars Oneís mission design cited its failure to adequately account for sparing needs as probably a fatal flaw. Additive manufacturing could go a long way toward resolving it.

Offline Robotbeat

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Re: 3-D Printing in Space
« Reply #12 on: 10/23/2014 04:12 AM »
You can get a solid model very easily from a microCT machine, showing all the voids down to tens of microns. Can even convert it back to a solid model file if you want, for automated FEA to make sure it won't fail immediately. Handheld ultrasonic device can't do that, not even close.
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

To the maximum extent practicable, the Federal Government shall plan missions to accommodate the space transportation services capabilities of United States commercial providers. US law http://goo.gl/YZYNt0

Offline Prober

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Re: 3-D Printing in Space
« Reply #13 on: 11/17/2014 11:42 AM »
No, and no where near that bulky, expensive or time consuming. All they need is what's already on the shelf for diagnosing metalwork (welding and casting), composite construction and many other uses - a hand held sonar.

If the issue is that easy to resolve, I wonder why Mike Snyder stated that convincing NASA that 3-D printing is reliable will require a lot of heavy-duty persuasion and proof.

One thing that came out of Made in Space interviews was the need to allow for 3D printing of spares when designing new space stations. Ideally most parts on a new spacestation will be printed on the same printers that will be carried on board. In case of large parts allow for a replaced to be printed from multiple smaller parts and bolted together.

Sparing is a big problem. The MIT analysis of Mars Oneís mission design cited its failure to adequately account for sparing needs as probably a fatal flaw. Additive manufacturing could go a long way toward resolving it.

If NASA doesn't wish to use the 3D Printer the ESA it seems has their own program.  They believe in it, and it looks like the ISS in the future will have two printers?
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=33141.msg1288632#msg1288632


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Offline Prober

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Re: 3-D Printing in Space
« Reply #14 on: 11/18/2014 11:08 PM »
1-If NASA doesn't wish to use the 3D Printer

2-the ESA it seems has their own program.  They believe in it...

SNIP


1-NASA is funding this experiment. There is no reason to conclude "they don't wish to use it." But it is an experiment. 3D printing in general has to prove itself as a useful technology. And for any piece of equipment going on the ISS the standard of proof is high. You cannot substitute a new part and then have it kill somebody.

2-ESA is doing the same thing NASA is doing. There is no reason to conclude that NASA doesn't believe in 3D printing and ESA does. They are doing experiments.

3)NASA is ahead of the game on this. ESA is playing catch-up.

You may research the materials and come to a different conclusion.   

3) ESA may leapfrog with a superior printer.

1) NASA invested an extensive amount of money into their first printer that has a sorted past.  Currently, some patent lawsuits regarding that printer are in the court(s).   The guts of the printer was highly advanced when it first came out of China.  I was one of the first, if not the first in the USA to test samples.   Today, the printer is highly mass produced.  Office Depot offers a print service (local) with the printer, Staples and other stores sell it under different labels.  On eBay some of the first generation of this printer have been sold for $300.  Retail is around $1200.00 US.

Its a decent printer to make parts.   That being said, the NASA program being built around it (watch the videos) is not about printing parts for the ISS; rather its some NASA Education program.

After watching the videos that came out promoting this Made in space program I felt I'd seen this before somewhere.  Then it hit me, the movie Armageddon.  In that movie NASA spent a ton of money for bells and whistles to make an advanced drill :(
« Last Edit: 11/19/2014 01:45 PM by Prober »
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Offline Prober

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Re: 3-D Printing in Space
« Reply #15 on: 11/21/2014 02:59 PM »
1-If NASA doesn't wish to use the 3D Printer

2-the ESA it seems has their own program.  They believe in it...

SNIP


1-NASA is funding this experiment. There is no reason to conclude "they don't wish to use it." But it is an experiment. 3D printing in general has to prove itself as a useful technology. And for any piece of equipment going on the ISS the standard of proof is high. You cannot substitute a new part and then have it kill somebody.

2-ESA is doing the same thing NASA is doing. There is no reason to conclude that NASA doesn't believe in 3D printing and ESA does. They are doing experiments.

3)NASA is ahead of the game on this. ESA is playing catch-up.

You may research the materials and come to a different conclusion.   

3) ESA may leapfrog with a superior printer.

1) NASA invested an extensive amount of money into their first printer that has a sorted past.  Currently, some patent lawsuits regarding that printer are in the court(s).   The guts of the printer was highly advanced when it first came out of China.  I was one of the first, if not the first in the USA to test samples.   Today, the printer is highly mass produced.  Office Depot offers a print service (local) with the printer, Staples and other stores sell it under different labels.  On eBay some of the first generation of this printer have been sold for $300.  Retail is around $1200.00 US.

Its a decent printer to make parts.   That being said, the NASA program being built around it (watch the videos) is not about printing parts for the ISS; rather its some NASA Education program.

After watching the videos that came out promoting this Made in space program I felt I'd seen this before somewhere.  Then it hit me, the movie Armageddon.  In that movie NASA spent a ton of money for bells and whistles to make an advanced drill :(


I honestly cannot figure out what your point is.

You twisted my words "they don't wish to use it.".   
 ;D

Watch the video and make a list of the goals, and claims.  This is NOT about making some quick fix parts for the ISS.


« Last Edit: 11/21/2014 03:58 PM by Prober »
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Offline IslandPlaya

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Re: 3-D Printing in Space
« Reply #16 on: 11/21/2014 10:41 PM »
Come on Blackstar...
You are in the know, and everyone respects this.
In response you should say 'unsubstantiated'
;)


Offline Moe Grills

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Re: 3-D Printing in Space
« Reply #18 on: 11/26/2014 08:07 PM »
  Forget the fruitless argument above; history is being made.
The first articles to be manufactured aboard an space station.

I hope the outcome will be better than for the gallium-arsenide crystal manufacturing experiments once carried out on the shuttles.

Offline Prober

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Re: 3-D Printing in Space
« Reply #19 on: 11/28/2014 12:48 PM »
  Forget the fruitless argument above; history is being made.
The first articles to be manufactured aboard an space station.

I hope the outcome will be better than for the gallium-arsenide crystal manufacturing experiments once carried out on the shuttles.

agree 100%

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=33141.msg1293386#msg1293386


2017 - Everything Old is New Again.
I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work. ~ by Thomas Alva Edison

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