Made in Space Develops a Mixed 3D Printing System for Space in NASA

Made in Space has made remarkable achievements in manufacturing in space. The company is responsible for the first 3D printer ever launched into space, and the additive manufacturing facility that will continue 3D printing on the International Space Station. Made In Space is now Developed a huge robotic 3D printer, Vulcan, which will be able to build free-form objects in the vacuum of outer space.

Recently, Made In Space has won a new contract from NASA to continue the development of the Vulcan hybrid manufacturing system. The system can use a variety of materials (including metal) for 3D printing. This is different from the current 3D printers on the ISS, which can only use aggregates. Prints. The new NASA contract is the second phase of the Small Business Innovation Study (SBIR) Award; Made in Space has now completed the first phase of the contract received last year.


NASA logo, aluminum products made from Vulcan

Mike Snyder, chief engineer and principal researcher at Made In Space, said: 'Vulcan's hybrid manufacturing system can flexibly add and create metal parts with the required accuracy and precision. Vulcan is an efficient, safe and functional system that can be used in the manufacturing process. A small amount of resources. '

When the Vulcan system is manufactured, it will take its place on the International Space Station along with other 3D printers and demonstrate its advanced features. Snyder said: 'Vulcan is important for the reduction of logistics required for long-term exploration. Hybrid manufacturing systems are highly efficient. A major step forward in space operations is the ability to build the necessary components and components in a space environment. 'Vulcan will be able to use more than 30 materials for 3D printing, including titanium, stainless steel, aluminum and various plastic composites. Mixing machines Not only can you do 3D printing, but you can also use subtraction techniques (such as CNC) to process 3D printed parts to their final specifications.

This is not all 3D printing and manufacturing space: The company recently introduced a machine to the International Space Station, creating a high-value fiber called ZBLAN, which is difficult to manufacture on Earth because gravity can cause microscopic material The defect is that the goal of the machine is to determine whether ZBLAN can be manufactured under zero gravity and whether it is sufficient for mass production. If so, Made in Space plans to expand the scale of production and bring ZBLAN back to Earth for mass sales.

In other space news, many small CubeSat satellites have been sent into space in the past few years, and some of them have been printed in 3D. NASA sent the first two CubeSats to space and received radio signals. Work has been done so far. So far, everything is normal. Mars Cube One and MarCO are briefcase-sized satellites that were launched a few days ago with NASA's InSight Mars Lander. InSight will first probe the interior of Mars, CubeSats will follow and test the microspace The data of the device.

Both CubeSats began deploying solar panels shortly after they were launched. In the next few weeks, NASA will evaluate how CubeSats behave. If they survive space radiation, they will enter the InSight, 11 After the month fell, it flew over Mars. Several new experimental systems are being tested using satellites, including their radios, folded high-gain antennas, attitude control and propulsion systems.

Source: China 3D Printing Network