3D maker zero-g printer by made in space and NASA blasts off to ISS
images courtesy of made in space




made in space’s ‘zero-g printer’, the first 3D fabricator designed to operate in zero gravity, is scheduled to launch to the international space station on NASA’s spaceX. this partnership aims to begin the era of off-world manufacturing that could enable further solar system exploration in the future. with over 30,000 hours of 3D printing technology testing and 400+ parabolas of microgravity practice flights, the size of a small microwave machine is an experiment for understanding the long-term effects of zero-gravity on them.

the goal of enabling humanity’s future in space could be achieved through the made in space experiment




using a system know as additive manufacturing, the machine can print out ABS plastic objects at a speed of 40mm/s. ‘we’re sending this bad boy off to NASA with wishes of living long and prospering,’ said aaron kemmer, co-founder of made in space. the launch takes place on the 19th september 2014 and demonstrates the next step of 3D printing off of earth.

the zero-g printer is ready to be launch up to the ISS




‘it has been a great partnership between made in space, our space technology mission directorate, the human exploration and operations office, and several of our NASA centers,’ said lanetra tate, the principal investigator for advanced manufacturing at NASA headquarters, ‘marshall space flight center worked very closely with made in space to test out the printer and do side-by-side comparisons with material and processes.’ 


‘sometimes I refer to it as a new revolution of additive manufacturing and 3D printing,’ tate said. ‘people are looking at it as potentially being used for more complex components and primary structures.’





tech directorate’s game changing development program, a NASA thrust that seeks to identify and rapidly mature innovative/high impact capabilities and technologies for infusion in a broad array of future missions. ‘I think the goal in our deep space exploration, or habitation on a planetary surface, is to try and anticipate needs,’ tate said, ‘cargo ships just can’t go make a quick run to deliver you something that you’ve run out of.’


tate said, ‘that can be potentially beneficial for exploring deeper into space.’


city x project space kid design
video courtesy of IDEAco



3D printing in zero gravity
video courtesy of NASA’s marshall center