NASA has sent the first 3D printer into space! The Made In Space printer has been sent to the ISS on the back of a Space X re-supply mission. The made in space printer faced several challenges; the first was of course the lack of gravity, which we rely on to keep the material on the tray. The printer uses thermoplastic ABS materials, similar to the printers on earth; luckily the material laid down onto the build tray has enough adhesion to keep it from floating throughout the station.
NASA now has the ability to email schematics for new parts to the space station, removing the need to transport certain equipment to the shuttle every time something breaks or quits working. This is a huge leap forward in turning space into a sustainable area and another way that 3D printing is helping to inspire innovation in the world, and beyond.
Whitwam, Ryan. “NASA Has Successfully Created the First 3D Printed Object in Space | ExtremeTech.” ExtremeTech. ExtremeTech, 26 Nov. 2014. Web. 01 July 2015.