3D Printing In Space: 21st Century Space Manufacturing and Technology

The rise of 3D printing technology is not confined to Earth. Private companies, NASA and other groups are quickly developing new concepts to launch 3D printing into the final frontier. See the latest news, videos and photos of 3D printing in space here.
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3D Printing Puts Giant Star System in Palm of Your Hand
A 3D-printed model of the Homunculus Nebula is compared to a Hubble Space Telescope image of the object.
February 24th, 2015
Most astronomers rely on flat images to study cosmic objects, but a group of researchers is taking an alternate approach: They're creating 3D-printed models of a star system in order to study its physical characteristics and investigate its mysterious pas
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How to 3D Print a Space Station Wrench Emailed to Orbit
International Space Station commander Butch Wilmore shows off the ratchet wrench made with Made In Space's 3D printer on the station. The same wrench can now be printed at home.
December 29th, 2014
The first-ever hand tool to be emailed up to the International Space Station can now be downloaded to anywhere on Earth.
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Space Station's 3D Printer Makes 1st Part
International Space Station commander Barry "Butch" Wilmore holds up the first 3D printed part made in space. The part, an extruder plate (a piece of the printer itself), was made on Nov. 24, 2014.
November 25th, 2014
The milestone marks a key step toward a future in which voyaging spaceships print out their own spare parts on the go and colonists on other worlds make what they need from the dirt beneath their boots, 3D printing advocates say.
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Space Station's 3D Printer Makes Wrench From 'Beamed Up' Design
International Space Station Commander Barry "Butch" Wilmore shows off a ratchet wrench made with a 3D printer aboard the orbiting lab. The wrench and other parts will return to Earth for comparison with ground samples in early 2015.
December 23rd, 2014
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.
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How 3D Printing Could Aid Space Exploration
International Space Station commander Barry WIlmore installs the orbiting lab's first 3D printer on Nov. 17, 2014.
November 25th, 2014
The 3D printer aboard the International Space Station produced its first part today (Nov. 21). The milestone moment marks a big step toward a future in which humanity explores far beyond its home planet, some experts say.
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NASA's Most Complex 3D-Printed Rocket Part Yet Passes Test (Video)
Rockets with 3D-Printed Injectors
November 8th, 2014
NASA tested two rockets with 3D-printed injectors modeled after the rocket that could one day send humans to Mars.
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Europe's 1st Zero-Gravity 3D Printer Headed for Space
Portable On-Board 3D Printer
January 30th, 2015
Europe is set to send its first 3D printer into the final frontier this year to experiment with zero-gravity manufacturing on long space voyages.
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Welcoming the Era of In-Space Manufacturing
Mike Snyder (right) and Jason Dunn of Made In Space get the company's 3D printer ready for its September 2014 launch toward the International Space Station. The machine printed its first part in orbit on Nov. 24, 2014.
November 25th, 2014
An op-ed by Mike Snyder, lead engineer for Made In Space, whose 3D printer just produced its first part aboard the International Space Station.
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