Author Topic: Additive Manufacturing for the Space Industry  (Read 30075 times)

Offline robertross

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Additive Manufacturing for the Space Industry
« on: 08/04/2011 04:29 pm »
I thought this was pretty impressive:

ELLINGTON FIELD, TX – July 28, 2011 – MADE IN SPACE, a start-up dedicated to providing solutions for manufacturing in space, announced the successful completion of testing 3D printers in zero-gravity.

The test took place on multiple zero-gravity flights provided by NASA’s Flight Opportunities Program. Two modified off-the-shelf 3D printers were tested, including one provided by their partner 3D Systems, a leading provider of 3D printing solutions. The company also tested a custom-made printer that’s designed to manufacture structures in space.

Several objects were printed during the flight, including a scaled-down wrench that became the first ever tool printed through partial zero-gravity. They also built a part that was designed by Within Technologies to be optimized for complete strength-to-mass ratio.

MADE IN SPACE believes the advantages of 3D printing — limited material waste, the ability to build complex geometries, immediate production time, and minimal human involvement required — make it the perfect manufacturing system for outer space.

“3D printing and in-space manufacturing will dramatically change the way we look at space exploration, commercialization, and mission design today.” said Aaron Kemmer, CEO and Co-Founder of MADE IN SPACE. “The possibilities range from building on-demand parts for human missions to building large space habitats that are optimized for space.”

Once the printers and material are set in space, missions will have the freedom to build what they need when they need it and not have to rely on transport from Earth.

The company flew the printers in order to better understand how 3D printing works in a space-like environment.

“Based on past research, we already knew that 3D printing works in zero-g to some degree. The question we are answering is how well does it work.” said Jason Dunn, CTO and co-founder.

For the flight, MADE IN SPACE partnered with Autodesk,a world leader in 3D design, engineering and entertainment software, who provided software and techniques to optimize space-based design principles for practical applications.

The test in zero-gravity is a crucial first step for the company. Over the next month, they will be conducting post-flight analysis, and have plans for further zero-gravity testing over the upcoming year.

For more information and on-going updates from their experiments, visit www.madeinspace.us.

Offline Space Pete

Re: Additive Manufacturing for the Space Industry
« Reply #1 on: 08/04/2011 05:23 pm »
Get this thing on ISS! :)
NASASpaceflight ISS Editor

Offline robertross

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Re: Additive Manufacturing for the Space Industry
« Reply #2 on: 08/04/2011 06:13 pm »
Get this thing on ISS! :)

Absosmurfly!  :)

Offline A_M_Swallow

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Re: Additive Manufacturing for the Space Industry
« Reply #3 on: 08/04/2011 09:26 pm »
3D printers of lunar regolith and metals will be useful on the Moon.

Offline SpacexULA

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Re: Additive Manufacturing for the Space Industry
« Reply #4 on: 08/04/2011 10:03 pm »
They used a Thing o Matic, Bits From Bytes 3000 (also known as Panther), and a Makerbot Cupcake.

I hate that none of the printers where real RepRap, but I am writing them up for the RepRap Blog anyway. :)

http://blog.reprap.org/
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Offline Downix

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Re: Additive Manufacturing for the Space Industry
« Reply #5 on: 08/05/2011 02:05 am »
They used a Thing o Matic, Bits From Bytes 3000 (also known as Panther), and a Makerbot Cupcake.

I hate that none of the printers where real RepRap, but I am writing them up for the RepRap Blog anyway. :)

http://blog.reprap.org/
The RepRap is not known for high fidelity work, although I'll admit I want one.  I just wish they could do cleaner prints.
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Offline Danderman

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Re: Additive Manufacturing for the Space Industry
« Reply #6 on: 03/05/2012 11:10 pm »
Get this thing on ISS! :)

I posted this elsewhere, but it should be posted in this thread, too:

http://sbir.gsfc.nasa.gov/SBIR/abstracts/11/sbir/phase1/SBIR-11-1-O3.02-9753.html

As part of this proposal, Made in Space, Inc., combined with the mission experience of Arkyd Astronautics, Inc. and NanoRacks, LLC, will develop an Additive Manufacturing Facility for the ISS that will enable on-board manufacturing capability. The crew would be able to utilize the AMF to perform station maintenance, build tools, and repair sections of the station in case of an emergency. The AMF will use an extrusion-based "3D printing" method, which Made in Space has already tested in zero-gravity with successful results (Summer 2011), and is scheduled to do sub-orbital testing in 2012 as part of NASA's Flight Opportunities Program.

The first-generation AMF will be contained and operated in an 8U of the NanoRacks® payload system. It will be capable of producing components from a variety of space-rated composites. Later generations will have the ability to produce parts with space-grade metals. This versatility will allow for a variety of components and devices to be manufactured, enabling the mentioned uses to be applicable as well as unforeseen uses to be developed.

Offline Danderman

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Re: Additive Manufacturing for the Space Industry
« Reply #7 on: 03/05/2012 11:11 pm »
Now, here is another 3D printer company with something that should be tested at ISS:

NovoGen MMX Bioprinter™


http://www.organovo.com/products/novogen-mmx-bioprinter

The NovoGen MMX Bioprinter™ is a novel hardware and software platform at the forefront of bioprinting research and development. The NovoGen MMX™ was developed to meet challenges in biological research. The platform takes primary or other human cells and shapes them into 3D tissue, with tremendous cellular viability and biology that is superior to even an animal model. The platform is being used by Organovo's Pharma partners today to enable cutting edge research into drug discovery.

By allowing creation of three dimensional biological structures, Organovo creates functional human tissue that is superior to current disease models. By enabling printing of tissue in a laboratory environment, investigations on the constructs can be integrated into your current analysis methods.

Offline Danderman

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Re: Additive Manufacturing for the Space Industry
« Reply #8 on: 03/05/2012 11:13 pm »
Run and you can still make this:

http://www.aiaa-sf.org/techtalks/2012/0305.html

3D Printing in a Micro-Gravity Environment

Jason Dunn
CTO and Co-Founder, Made in Space, Inc.
NASA Ames Research Park, Moffett Field, CA

AIAA SF/SVSC Small Payloads TechTalks
Monday, March 5, 2012; 6:30pm-8:00pm
Hacker Dojo, Mountain View


Abstract

Additive manufacturing is the process of building (or "3D printing") a product layer by layer. A wide range of materials can be printed with additive manufacturing machines, from hard plastics to aluminum and titanium. Example spacecraft components that can be built include more efficient rocket nozzles and lighter miniaturized satellite parts.

Made in Space, Inc. is a space manufacturing company that leverages the rapid advancements in 3D printing and additive manufacturing to offer unique solutions for the aerospace industry.
About the Speaker

Jason Dunn is the CTO and Co-Founder at Made in Space, Inc. His life goal is to help settle the space frontier. He holds both a bachelors and a masters degree in aerospace engineering from the University of Central Florida.

During the summer of 2008 Mr. Dunn co-founded the Omega Envoy Project, the only student formed and led team competing in the Google Lunar X PRIZE.

In 2010 he graduated from Singularity University Graduate Studies Program, which studies the exponential trend of technology and its impact and solutions for humanity. During the program he co-founded Made In Space, Inc., a company aimed at in-situ manufacturing in space utilizing 3D printing technologies."

Offline JohnFornaro

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Re: Additive Manufacturing for the Space Industry
« Reply #9 on: 03/06/2012 12:29 am »
It is very impressive.
Sometimes I just flat out don't get it.

Offline robertross

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Re: Additive Manufacturing for the Space Industry
« Reply #10 on: 03/06/2012 12:52 am »
If they could turn this into the proverbial 'sausage maker', it could become the spark for the 21st century just as the lathe was in accelerating & defining the industrial revolution.

Offline Robotbeat

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Re: Additive Manufacturing for the Space Industry
« Reply #11 on: 03/06/2012 02:17 am »
If they could turn this into the proverbial 'sausage maker', it could become the spark for the 21st century just as the lathe was in accelerating & defining the industrial revolution.
It's just a repeat of what is already done on the ground.
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Offline robertross

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Re: Additive Manufacturing for the Space Industry
« Reply #12 on: 03/06/2012 11:21 am »
If they could turn this into the proverbial 'sausage maker', it could become the spark for the 21st century just as the lathe was in accelerating & defining the industrial revolution.
It's just a repeat of what is already done on the ground.

just like the other equipment that never fails on the ISS?

That's my point: until it is up & running, and reliable , you are only assuming it will work fine.

Offline HappyMartian

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Re: Additive Manufacturing for the Space Industry
« Reply #13 on: 03/06/2012 12:13 pm »


That's my point: until it is up & running, and reliable , you are only assuming it will work fine.

Yep. Lots of testing at the ISS would be good. It sure sounds wonderfully useful! Time will tell.

Thank you robertross!

Cheers!
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Offline Robotbeat

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Re: Additive Manufacturing for the Space Industry
« Reply #14 on: 03/06/2012 03:45 pm »
If they could turn this into the proverbial 'sausage maker', it could become the spark for the 21st century just as the lathe was in accelerating & defining the industrial revolution.
It's just a repeat of what is already done on the ground.

just like the other equipment that never fails on the ISS?

That's my point: until it is up & running, and reliable , you are only assuming it will work fine.
That wasn't my point at all. I was saying that this is the same sort of thing as is used on the ground already (and has been for years... decades, actually), thus I fail to see how putting it on ISS will cause it to "become the spark for the 21st century just as the lathe was in accelerating & defining the industrial revolution."
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 go4mars

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Re: Additive Manufacturing for the Space Industry
« Reply #15 on: 03/06/2012 03:51 pm »
If they could turn this into the proverbial 'sausage maker', it could become the spark for the 21st century
It's just a repeat of what is already done on the ground.

Great!  I wondered when someone would start printing sausages on the ISS!       

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Offline robertross

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Re: Additive Manufacturing for the Space Industry
« Reply #16 on: 03/06/2012 04:24 pm »
If they could turn this into the proverbial 'sausage maker', it could become the spark for the 21st century just as the lathe was in accelerating & defining the industrial revolution.
It's just a repeat of what is already done on the ground.

just like the other equipment that never fails on the ISS?

That's my point: until it is up & running, and reliable , you are only assuming it will work fine.
That wasn't my point at all. I was saying that this is the same sort of thing as is used on the ground already (and has been for years... decades, actually), thus I fail to see how putting it on ISS will cause it to "become the spark for the 21st century just as the lathe was in accelerating & defining the industrial revolution."

Well the lathe was around for years before it sparked the industrial revolution. It was the unique application of it, and the application of steam power that really brought it to the forefront.

We know microgravity creates a unique environment, one unlike any other. To be able to rapid prototype parts on an industrial scale could be the next step for us going beyond our planet, by using a raw product and transforming it into a useful secondary or tertiary product.

Offline JohnFornaro

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Re: Additive Manufacturing for the Space Industry
« Reply #17 on: 03/06/2012 05:06 pm »
Great!  I wondered when someone would start printing sausages on the ISS

Hey.  That was my line.
Sometimes I just flat out don't get it.

Offline Patchouli

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Re: Additive Manufacturing for the Space Industry
« Reply #18 on: 03/06/2012 10:29 pm »
They used a Thing o Matic, Bits From Bytes 3000 (also known as Panther), and a Makerbot Cupcake.

I hate that none of the printers where real RepRap, but I am writing them up for the RepRap Blog anyway. :)

http://blog.reprap.org/
The RepRap is not known for high fidelity work, although I'll admit I want one.  I just wish they could do cleaner prints.

It's been improving as seen in this video  though I think the Ultimaker might be a better machine to build or buy.
A reaprap making something with a functional joint


The Utilimaker printing something water tight.


Here's a link for the Ultimaker.
http://blog.ultimaker.com/

Now for a real show of what can be done with rapid prototyping look at the profession ones.



If they could turn this into the proverbial 'sausage maker', it could become the spark for the 21st century just as the lathe was in accelerating & defining the industrial revolution.
It's just a repeat of what is already done on the ground.

just like the other equipment that never fails on the ISS?

That's my point: until it is up & running, and reliable , you are only assuming it will work fine.
That wasn't my point at all. I was saying that this is the same sort of thing as is used on the ground already (and has been for years... decades, actually), thus I fail to see how putting it on ISS will cause it to "become the spark for the 21st century just as the lathe was in accelerating & defining the industrial revolution."

Well the lathe was around for years before it sparked the industrial revolution. It was the unique application of it, and the application of steam power that really brought it to the forefront.

We know microgravity creates a unique environment, one unlike any other. To be able to rapid prototype parts on an industrial scale could be the next step for us going beyond our planet, by using a raw product and transforming it into a useful secondary or tertiary product.

I think rapid prototyping could prove to be as revolutionary as the steam engine.
It can lower the bar for a start-up to get into manufacturing.

This could be just the edge US based companies need to compete against China.

These machines also could be at every neighbourhood hardware store.

Lets say you needed a part you could have a machine at the local hardware store print said replacement part.




« Last Edit: 03/06/2012 10:55 pm by Patchouli »

Offline robertross

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Re: Additive Manufacturing for the Space Industry
« Reply #19 on: 03/06/2012 11:10 pm »

I think rapid prototyping could prove to be as revolutionary as the steam engine.
It can lower the bar for a start-up to get into manufacturing.

This could be just the edge US based companies need to compete against China.

These machines also could be at every neighbourhood hardware store.

Lets say you needed a part you could have a machine at the local hardware store print said replacement part.

There is very little (but not zero) chance that having 3D printing machines in orbit are going to be game changers for US companies competing against China for consumer products.

What this offers is a gateway into the next frontier (with some specialized Earth-based applications). Imagine the capability of fabricating replacement parts on orbit using a common feedstock. Then all you need is a common re-supply of that material and gone are many of the long leadtimes & launch delays.

The real 'far-out' application would be able to use substances mined from a nearby asteroid. And eventually, having something like this on your BEO mission, or colony. (the same goes for investment castings, using powdered metal)

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