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3D printing is a part of the future of every industry and space exploration is no exception. It can help make replacement parts for repairs, custom equipment for scientific experiments, and even things like food or buildings; in other words, 3D printing is changing the way we dress, how we treat injuries, design cars, produce and eat food and construct homes. Here are some interesting uses of 3D printing in space:
3D printing replacement parts in space
Thanks to 3D printing technology, it may be much easier to manufacture spare parts in space. Before, when a tool on the space station broke or went missing, astronauts had to wait for the next supply mission to launch from Earth. The only alternative was to ship up multiple spare parts.
With 3D printing, astronauts may be able to use a 3D printer to fabricate the tools and materials they need and dramatically reduce the time it takes to get parts to orbit and increase the reliability and safety of space missions while dropping costs.
Recycling in space
Using recycled material for printer feedstock could save future long-duration exploration missions from having to carry a large supply of material for 3D printing. Also, recycling could make use of material that otherwise would represent a nuisance or a trash disposal issue on these missions, so it’s possible to recycle materials into usable items.
3D printing food in space
Using a 3D food printer for long durations missions may offer many possibilities to make the consumption of products like meat more sustainable and space travels more comfortable by introducing new ways of preparing a meal in space.
Building structures on the Moon
3D printing could be a great way to use machines to quickly construct structures, even in a zero-gravity environment. That’s why some architects are assessing the feasibility of 3D printing parts to construct buildings, using materials like regolith. So 3D printing help the eventual construction of a “Moon Village.”
3D printing medical devices in space
One of the biggest problems that astronauts face is getting injured in space, despite spacesuit designs evolving to protect astronauts. With 3D printing, it may be possible to produce medical devices that are perfectly suited for a particular individual due to the flexibility of 3D printing. This can allow designers to make changes easily without the need to set up additional equipment or tools. It also enables manufacturers to create patient-specific devices or devices with very complex internal structures.
These capabilities have sparked a huge interest in 3D printing of medical devices and other products, including food, household items, and automotive parts. The future is getting more interesting and brighter with 3D printing technology, and with every moment we find a new use of this amazing technology that made our life easier and more fun, and it helps us to get over any problem that we struggle with.
Just a couple years before the invention of this technology, astronauts struggled with many problems that cost them both time and money. But with 3D print parts and tools, they’ll be able to save both time and money.
This article is in no way an endorsement of Pick 3D Printer or any products or services mentioned. We encourage our readers to do independent due diligence when interpreting any claims made in this article.