Author Topic: 3-D Printing in Space  (Read 18597 times)

Offline Razvan

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 161
  • United States
  • Liked: 20
  • Likes Given: 49
Re: 3-D Printing in Space
« Reply #20 on: 12/19/2014 02:24 PM »
http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-30549341

Nasa emails spanner to space station - it's started already... wow

Offline Prober

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10315
  • Save the spin....I'm keeping you honest!
  • Nevada
  • Liked: 700
  • Likes Given: 728
Re: 3-D Printing in Space
« Reply #21 on: 12/19/2014 03:12 PM »
http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-30549341

Nasa emails spanner to space station - it's started already... wow

A real world use of the application ;)
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

Offline Blackstar

  • Veteran
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10574
  • Liked: 2153
  • Likes Given: 1
Re: 3-D Printing in Space
« Reply #22 on: 12/22/2014 05:49 PM »
Keep in mind that this is an experiment. The printer and the parts are not part of operations on the ISS. Nobody is authorized to, say, actually make stuff and then use it for critical tasks. Doing that would require an approval process. And this printer will be removed from the ISS glovebox at some point.

Made In Space hopes that they will fly a version 2 printer that will be installed on the Kibo module and that one will actually be approved for making operational parts for in-orbit use. I think they'll have to jump through a bunch of hoops to get there, but it's not inconceivable that it will happen.

Offline Robotbeat

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 25882
  • Minnesota
  • Liked: 5928
  • Likes Given: 4405
Re: 3-D Printing in Space
« Reply #23 on: 12/23/2014 03:00 AM »
There already is a certification process that Made In Space goes through for printing stuff on ISS.

The 3D printer has been a big success. I guarantee it will be used in the future. There are times when an improvised solution is needed. In the past, the solution is duct tape and flight manuals, which hardly are "certified" solutions. A 3D printer, well-characterized by their work right now and with an identical printer on the ground, is much better characterized than basically all of the adhoc solutions that have been used in space (Apollo 13, repairing the lunar rover fender, STS-120's cuff link, etc, etc etc... each ISS Expedition has stories of ad hoc repairs).
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

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10315
  • Save the spin....I'm keeping you honest!
  • Nevada
  • Liked: 700
  • Likes Given: 728
Re: 3-D Printing in Space
« Reply #24 on: 12/23/2014 07:45 PM »
Agree with both Blackstar & Robo

My view differs.....its a cheap insurance policy for the crew.   A clean, simple focused program can be a useful addition to the ISS.

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

Offline Blackstar

  • Veteran
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10574
  • Liked: 2153
  • Likes Given: 1
Re: 3-D Printing in Space
« Reply #25 on: 12/23/2014 10:33 PM »
1-There already is a certification process that Made In Space goes through for printing stuff on ISS.

2-The 3D printer has been a big success. I guarantee it will be used in the future. There are times when an improvised solution is needed. In the past, the solution is duct tape and flight manuals, which hardly are "certified" solutions. A 3D printer, well-characterized by their work right now and with an identical printer on the ground, is much better characterized than basically all of the adhoc solutions that have been used in space (Apollo 13, repairing the lunar rover fender, STS-120's cuff link, etc, etc etc... each ISS Expedition has stories of ad hoc repairs).

1-Different process. That is to certify that the printer is safe and poses no unacceptable hazard to the astronauts or the station. It's not the same as certifying the objects it produces for use on the station.

2-Big success? Based upon what evidence? They have not even finished testing and produced a final report and delivered it to NASA. In fact, a major part of the experiment involves bringing the things it makes back to Earth where they can be tested in comparison to objects produced on the ground. For instance, are they as strong? Do they have voids or weaknesses as a result of zero gravity?

I'll take your guarantee with a grain of salt. Only after they've done a systems level assessment will they know if it fits into ISS requirements. For example, if the printer and feedstock prove to be heavier than the items that it replaces and requires more maintenance and human resources to operate, then it may not be carried. Don't put the cart in front of the horse.

It's an experiment.
« Last Edit: 12/23/2014 10:34 PM by Blackstar »

Offline Blackstar

  • Veteran
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10574
  • Liked: 2153
  • Likes Given: 1
Re: 3-D Printing in Space
« Reply #26 on: 12/24/2014 03:49 PM »
And here:

http://www.space.com/28095-3d-printer-space-station-ratchet-wrench.html

"The 3D printer aboard the International Space Station has wrapped up the first phase of its orbital test run by cranking out a ratchet wrench whose design was beamed up from Earth.

The wrench, along with the 19 other objects built by the orbiting 3D printer thus far, will travel to Earth early next year, where engineers will compare the objects with ground samples produced by the same machine before it launched, NASA officials said.

"We can't wait to get these objects home and put them through structural and mechanical testing," Quincy Bean, of NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, said in a statement. "We really won't know how well this process worked in space until we inspect the parts and complete these tests."

Offline oldAtlas_Eguy

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2618
  • Florida
  • Liked: 1044
  • Likes Given: 60
Re: 3-D Printing in Space
« Reply #27 on: 12/24/2014 04:38 PM »
And here:

http://www.space.com/28095-3d-printer-space-station-ratchet-wrench.html

"The 3D printer aboard the International Space Station has wrapped up the first phase of its orbital test run by cranking out a ratchet wrench whose design was beamed up from Earth.

The wrench, along with the 19 other objects built by the orbiting 3D printer thus far, will travel to Earth early next year, where engineers will compare the objects with ground samples produced by the same machine before it launched, NASA officials said.

"We can't wait to get these objects home and put them through structural and mechanical testing," Quincy Bean, of NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, said in a statement. "We really won't know how well this process worked in space until we inspect the parts and complete these tests."

Early next year would be the return of CRS-5.

3-D printing in Space could be a major technology upset to the space industry.  Instead of manufacturing the bulk of a satellite on the ground, feedstock would be shipped up along with a few more complex items like computer chips and circuit boards.  Manufacturing of specific parts and assembly would then take place in such as the Bigelow 2100 assembly bay. This swap from expensive integration and high risk of loss due to a launch failure could easily turn the industry on its ear. Transport to space becomes feedstock and mass produced complex electronics parts.  Once the satellite finishes production and checkout it is then transported to GEO or whatever orbit by a SEP tug or other capable tug. This would be a complete change of how things are done.  Eventually feedstock could be provided from the moon or asteroid sources producing still more revolutions in the satellite industry.

Offline savuporo

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4734
  • Liked: 781
  • Likes Given: 265
Re: 3-D Printing in Space
« Reply #28 on: 12/24/2014 07:58 PM »
3-D printing in Space could be a major technology upset to the space industry.  .. Once the satellite finishes production and checkout it is then transported to GEO or whatever orbit by a SEP tug or other capable tug...
I dont think 3d printing is the enabling technology for that. In theory, you could send up feedstock of parts today to assemble and check out orbital assets. Printing by itself is not the enabler, as you cant print out a functioning GEO comsat anyway. It needs to be put together.
You would need something like DARPA Phoenix ideas first, i.e. remote operated in space assembly, to which 3d printing can become complementary asset.

3D printing would not directly enable you to build a better and cheaper JWST, whereas remote assembly would.
« Last Edit: 12/24/2014 08:03 PM by savuporo »
Orion - the first and only manned not-too-deep-space craft

Offline Blackstar

  • Veteran
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10574
  • Liked: 2153
  • Likes Given: 1
Re: 3-D Printing in Space
« Reply #29 on: 12/29/2014 09:41 PM »


3-D printing in Space could be a major technology upset to the space industry. 

These people were skeptical.

Offline savuporo

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4734
  • Liked: 781
  • Likes Given: 265
Re: 3-D Printing in Space
« Reply #30 on: 12/29/2014 09:47 PM »
Orion - the first and only manned not-too-deep-space craft

Offline francesco nicoli

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 478
  • Amsterdam
    • About Crises
  • Liked: 217
  • Likes Given: 331
Re: 3-D Printing in Space
« Reply #31 on: 12/29/2014 10:29 PM »
did you read the article?

"the first of this kind IN CHINA".

Online catdlr

  • Member
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4164
  • Marina del Rey, California, USA
  • Liked: 1181
  • Likes Given: 661
Re: 3-D Printing in Space
« Reply #32 on: 04/08/2015 08:03 PM »
Space Station Live: Space-Made Presents Unboxed

Published on Apr 8, 2015
The products from the first-ever operation of a 3-D Printer in space were recently returned to Earth from the International Space Station, and NASA’s In-Space Manufacturing Project opened the box this week. Quincy Bean, the principal investigator of the 3-D Printing in Zero-G technology demonstration, talks you through the unboxing at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, AL on April 6, 2015.

Tony De La Rosa

Online TrevorMonty

Re: 3-D Printing in Space
« Reply #33 on: 08/20/2015 10:03 AM »
Made In Space have an updated website.

http://www.madeinspace.us/projects/

A couple of interesting additions.

1) R3DO (pronounced riːˈdu) is the codename for our zero-gravity material recycler. R3DO was designed so that material from waste products or previous prints could be melted down and turned back into 3D printing feedstock, considerably enhancing the sustainability and overall efficiency of off-world additive manufacturing

Material recycler which should make its way to ISS at some stage in future. Besides recycling printed items, I think plan is also to recycle packaging from supplies sent to ISS. This may require a change of packaging material but at least it will find a second use.

2) The Extended Structures Additive Manufacturing Machine (ESAMM) will create struts and beams of indefinite length, an ability not possible with current launch methods. Assembling and connecting these long beams together will make the construction of kilometer-scale scaffolding and structural elements possible. ESAMM technology will help humanity realize the long-held dream of building extremely large structures in space.

Looks like Made In Space has copied  Tethers Unlimited Trusselator concept.
http://3dprint.com/31075/tethers-unlimited-trusselator/

Made in space's ESAMM is a step a head of Trusselator as ESAMM is based on flight proven printing technology. MIS have already proven they can print on ISS and in vacuum on ground using a similar printer, next step is to actually print in vacuum of space.
Given their new partnership with Nanoracks to build cubesats in space (ISS for now), I can see the ESAMM being used to make large solar arrays or antennas for these cubesats. See Trusselator article.
Nanoracks has customer base and probably more importantly the money to push this technology. Of course none of this would be possible without NASA support and ISS.

http://3dprint.com/88514/made-in-space-and-nanoracks-sign-deal-to-build-and-deploy-cubesats-in-orbit/



Online TrevorMonty

Re: 3-D Printing in Space
« Reply #34 on: 02/03/2016 01:29 AM »
Magna Parva have developed 3D printer to print large in space structures.
This is 3rd company that I know doing this see above post.

http://www.parabolicarc.com/2016/02/02/magna-parva-launches-inspace-manufacturing-website/

Offline mvpel

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1102
  • New Hampshire
  • Liked: 1270
  • Likes Given: 1629
Re: 3-D Printing in Space
« Reply #35 on: 04/11/2016 09:14 PM »
Houston, We Have a Printer - Raytheon's newest 3-D printing job: Training aids for astronauts

The astronauts of Apollo 13 had a life-threatening problem to solve. They had to move from the command module to the lunar module, and their carbon dioxide scrubbers – little filters that make the air breathable – weren't fitting quite right. The scrubbers were circular, and the space they needed to fit was square.

On the ground, engineers hurrying to help grabbed things they knew the astronauts had on board – in this case, socks and duct tape – and worked out a solution. The scene was dramatized in the movie "Apollo 13," but it's exactly the sort of thing mission control does to this day.

"That really happens," said Randal Lindner, a Raytheon program director who oversees the company's operations, maintenance and engineering work at NASA training facilities.

That program includes a team at the Space Vehicle Mockup Facility, which hosts full-scale replicas of the International Space Station, the Orion capsule and commercial spacecraft. Now, the center has a modern complement to the old socks-and-duct tape solution: a trio of 3-D printers that churn out fast, cheap and highly accurate models of actual spacecraft parts.

“3-D printers allow us to build parts that might have been prohibitively expensive before,” said Bobby Vincent, who runs Raytheon's special projects for NASA. “A real part from an original manufacturer may have taken six months and $3,000 to acquire before. Now it's available on the same day for $30. This capability enables a wider range of practice, trainings and testing ‘what if’ scenarios.”

The printers are part of Raytheon's companywide push into additive manufacturing and 3-D printing. That includes rocket motors, conductive materials for for electrical circuits, housings for the company's revolutionary gallium nitride transmitters and fins for guided artillery shells.

Duct tape and socks are still in NASA’s toolbox, but the technology for helping solve problems for space has advanced.

“We printed 1/20th scale copies of the robotic arm found on the space station,” Vincent said. “The models move at all the same angles as the real thing, which allows astronauts to take them back to their desks to develop procedures for their next spacewalk.”


This composite photo shows a 3-D printed version of a robotic arm on the International Space Station,
set against the backdrop of the actual thing. Astronauts and engineers use cheap and easily produced
3-D printed mockups to develop and practice procedures for maintaining and repairing spacecraft.
(Background image: NASA photo)


The vehicle mockups are painstakingly faithful to actual spacecraft, right down to models of science experiments astronauts have conducted on board. The 3-D printers help achieve that authenticity, offering a quick and inexpensive way to ensure the training versions reflect the actual spacecraft exactly. That's important for the thousands of training exercises that take place every year at the training center, where astronauts practice everything from routine maintenance to handling potentially catastrophic emergencies..

The construction and maintenance of the Orion spacecraft mockup is among 100 special projects Raytheon delivers to NASA and commercial customers at the space center every year. Many of those projects are geared toward developing ultra-efficient procedures and preparing both astronauts and mission control to handle whatever happens in space.

“I love turning on the news, seeing something great happening in space and knowing Raytheon had a pivotal role in making it happen,” said Lindner.

The outlook for 3-D printers in human spaceflight is good. The International Space Station itself has a 3-D printer that is already producing usable tools.

On the ground, the 3-D printers at the mockup facilty are producing valves, hinges and latches for the Orion spacecraft mockup. Some of the parts are printed in clear plastic to give engineers an unobstructed look at what's underneath certain components. That, in turn, helps them develop new procedures for servicing both current and future spacecraft.

In the shorter term, the 3-D printers will also help commercial companies making their maiden voyages into space.

“We are starting to see more requests to build mockups for commercial space vehicles,” said Vincent. “The whole space enterprise is rapidly evolving, which is sure to keep our 3-D printers running.”

This document does not contain technology or technical data controlled under either the U.S. International Traffic in Arms Regulations or the U.S. Export Administration Regulations. E16-H5V5.
"Ugly programs are like ugly suspension bridges: they're much more liable to collapse than pretty ones, because the way humans (especially engineer-humans) perceive beauty is intimately related to our ability to process and understand complexity. A language that makes it hard to write elegant code makes it hard to write good code." - Eric S. Raymond

Offline Dante2121

  • Member
  • Posts: 28
  • United States
  • Liked: 13
  • Likes Given: 13
Re: 3-D Printing in Space
« Reply #36 on: 08/13/2016 02:04 PM »
Next year Made in Space is going to start trial manufacturing ZBLAN on the ISS.

http://www.engineering.com/3DPrinting/3DPrintingArticles/ArticleID/12662/Made-In-Space-to-Make-Fiber-Optics-in-Space.aspx

This is really cool because the material is worth hundreds of thousands of dollars per kilogram - e.g.it could be wildly profitable even with today's launch costs.

https://sites.google.com/site/cmapproject/case-studies/exotic-glasses-and-fibers

Offline oldAtlas_Eguy

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2618
  • Florida
  • Liked: 1044
  • Likes Given: 60
Re: 3-D Printing in Space
« Reply #37 on: 08/14/2016 01:13 AM »
Next year Made in Space is going to start trial manufacturing ZBLAN on the ISS.

http://www.engineering.com/3DPrinting/3DPrintingArticles/ArticleID/12662/Made-In-Space-to-Make-Fiber-Optics-in-Space.aspx

This is really cool because the material is worth hundreds of thousands of dollars per kilogram - e.g.it could be wildly profitable even with today's launch costs.

https://sites.google.com/site/cmapproject/case-studies/exotic-glasses-and-fibers
You are correct this could be a very profitable business case. If a single dedicated Dragon flight to the ISS per year carrying the ingots and empty spools ~(1.5mt) (cost to Made in Space $130M) and then returns with the finished filled spools of fiber they could make in profit in one year from $200M to $650M each year from a single production machine.

The added item here is no one else would be able to even come close to the quality of fibers or their continuous length for the cost. They could even undercut the normal Earth manufactured market putting them all out of business. At such profit levels and a general lowering of prices increasing the demand for more fiber they could lease a BA330 just to manufacture fiber. This could be easily a multi-Billion-$ Made in Space business.

A single machine producing 3km of fiber per hour could produce in one year 25,000km of fiber worth from $7.5B to $75B. Number of Dragon cargo flights to support this manufacturing rate at 1.5mt per flight would be 5.5 flights per year.

Offline MarkM

  • Member
  • Posts: 34
  • Liked: 1
  • Likes Given: 2
Re: 3-D Printing in Space
« Reply #38 on: 08/18/2016 01:50 PM »

[/quote]
You are correct this could be a very profitable business case. If a single dedicated Dragon flight to the ISS per year carrying the ingots and empty spools ~(1.5mt) (cost to Made in Space $130M) and then returns with the finished filled spools of fiber they could make in profit in one year from $200M to $650M each year from a single production machine.

The added item here is no one else would be able to even come close to the quality of fibers or their continuous length for the cost. They could even undercut the normal Earth manufactured market putting them all out of business. At such profit levels and a general lowering of prices increasing the demand for more fiber they could lease a BA330 just to manufacture fiber. This could be easily a multi-Billion-$ Made in Space business.

A single machine producing 3km of fiber per hour could produce in one year 25,000km of fiber worth from $7.5B to $75B. Number of Dragon cargo flights to support this manufacturing rate at 1.5mt per flight would be 5.5 flights per year.
[/quote]

I think this is the type of commercialization that will really get the cost of access to space down.  When the cost of accessing space becomes another cost of production, there will be a natural economic need to reduce that cost (and improve reliability) that will then allow other activities in space to be more viable.


Offline oldAtlas_Eguy

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2618
  • Florida
  • Liked: 1044
  • Likes Given: 60
Re: 3-D Printing in Space
« Reply #39 on: 08/18/2016 03:44 PM »

Quote
You are correct this could be a very profitable business case. If a single dedicated Dragon flight to the ISS per year carrying the ingots and empty spools ~(1.5mt) (cost to Made in Space $130M) and then returns with the finished filled spools of fiber they could make in profit in one year from $200M to $650M each year from a single production machine.

The added item here is no one else would be able to even come close to the quality of fibers or their continuous length for the cost. They could even undercut the normal Earth manufactured market putting them all out of business. At such profit levels and a general lowering of prices increasing the demand for more fiber they could lease a BA330 just to manufacture fiber. This could be easily a multi-Billion-$ Made in Space business.

A single machine producing 3km of fiber per hour could produce in one year 25,000km of fiber worth from $7.5B to $75B. Number of Dragon cargo flights to support this manufacturing rate at 1.5mt per flight would be 5.5 flights per year.

I think this is the type of commercialization that will really get the cost of access to space down.  When the cost of accessing space becomes another cost of production, there will be a natural economic need to reduce that cost (and improve reliability) that will then allow other activities in space to be more viable.
By increasing the Dragon load to 3mt per flight and at a cheaper per flight price (reused 1st stage and reused propulsive landing D2) they could get the price per meter down to $30/m from for high quality fiber from the current cost of $3,000/m. This would change the demand for such fiber from a small quantity for use in just the lasers to transmission lines. By being able to consistently manufacture long high quality fiber at lengths of 15km they could create a new demand for the fiber in very large quantities greater the the amount of 25,000km per year value discussed above. At $30/m the revenue from fiber for D2 flights delivering 3mt  each and 2 machine producing 50,000km would be reduced from the above values to only $1.5B but would be a growth  yr-to-yr requiring more production machines and more Dragon flights. That $1.5B revenue minus the costs of D2 flights and the year rental of a BA330 ($650M) leaves a profit /yr of $355M (24% profit margin). No one else on Earth could compete with the price or be able to manufacture the quality or lengths of continuous fiber.

Added:
Here is an analysis of the business case for full scale transmission fiber production for a wholesale price of $15/m:
Fiber produced per year300000kilometers/year
Number of D2 cargo flights per year33flights/year
Cost per D2 flight using reused 1st stage and D2$90MSpaceX price/flight
Total cost of all cargo flights per year$2,970Mcargo cost /year
Cost of BA330 rental per year$650MBigelow rental price/year
Cost of 6 continuous crew on orbit + transport per year$192Mcrew costs/year
Wholesale price of fiber  per meter$15Wholesale price/meter
Revenue from fiber sale per year$4,500Mrevenue/year
Profit per year$688Mprofit/year
profit margin15%
« Last Edit: 08/18/2016 05:22 PM by oldAtlas_Eguy »

Tags: