Tag Archives: Obama

NASA and Made in Space Launch 3D Printing Space Experiment

NASA Space 3D Printing

3D Printing Coming to an International Space Station Near You

In the world of 3D printing, some of the most amazing and seemingly far-fetched ideas that have been dreamt up relate to how 3D printing could be used in space. We have published stories about research to 3D print a lunar base or repair a spacecraft.

Well, there’s more. NASA has partnered with Made in Space, Inc. to launch a joint initiative for the first 3D microgravity printing experiment to the International Space Station.

“As NASA ventures further into space, whether redirecting an asteroid or sending humans to Mars, we’ll need transformative technology to reduce cargo weight and volume,” NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said during a recent tour of the agency’s Ames Research Center at Moffett Field, Calif. “In the future, perhaps astronauts will be able to print the tools or components they need while in space.”

If successful, the 3D Printing in Zero G Experiment (3D Print) will be the first device to manufacture parts in space. 3D Print will use extrusion additive manufacturing, which builds objects, layer by layer, out of polymers and other materials. The 3D Print hardware is scheduled to be certified and ready for launch to the space station next year.

NASA is a government leader in 3D printing for engineering applications. The technology holds tremendous potential for future space exploration. One day, 3D printing may allow an entire spacecraft to be manufactured in space, eliminating design constraints caused by the challenges and mass constraints of launching from Earth. This same technology may help revolutionize American manufacturing and benefit U.S. industries.

The president’s Advanced Manufacturing Initiative cites additive manufacturing, or ’3D printing,’ as one of the key technologies that will keep U.S. companies competitive and maintain world leadership in our new global technology economy,” said Michael Gazarik, NASA’s associate administrator for space technology in Washington. “We’re taking that technology to new heights, by working with Made in Space to test 3D printing aboard the space station. Taking advantage of our orbiting national laboratory, we’ll be able to test new manufacturing techniques that benefit our astronauts and America’s technology development pipeline.”

In addition to manufacturing spacecraft designs in orbit, 3D printers also could work with robotic systems to create tools and habitats needed for human missions to Mars and other planetary destinations. Housing and laboratories could be fabricated by robots using printed building blocks that take advantage of in-situ resources, such as soil or minerals. Astronauts on long-duration space missions also could print and recycle tools as they are needed, saving mass, volume and resources.

“The 3D Print experiment with NASA is a step towards the future,” said Aaron Kemmer, CEO of Made in Space. “The ability to 3D print parts and tools on demand greatly increases the reliability and safety of space missions while also dropping the cost by orders of magnitude. The first printers will start by building test items, such as computer component boards, and will then build a broad range of parts, such as tools and science equipment.”

Made in Space previously partnered with NASA through the agency’s Flight Opportunities Program to test its prototype 3D Print additive manufacturing equipment on suborbital simulated microgravity flights. NASA’s Flight Opportunities Program offers businesses and researchers the ability to fly new technologies to the edge of space and back for testing before launching them into the harsh space environment.

For this mission, Made in Space was awarded a Phase III small business innovation and research contract from NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. After flight certification, NASA plans to ship 3D Print to the space station aboard an American commercial resupply mission. NASA is working with American industry to develop commercially-provided U.S. spacecraft and launch vehicles for delivery of cargo — and eventually crew — to the International Space Station.

For more information about Made in Space, visit: http://www.madeinspace.us

Alliance Announces New 3D Printing Innovation Centers in China

China 3D Printing Innovation

3D Printing Innovation Centers in China

Investments in 3D printing innovation are increasing. President Obama last week announced a $200 million program to develop 3D printing institutes. Now a Chinese group plans to build 10 innovation centers focused on 3D printing.

Luo Jun, CEO of the Asian Manufacturing Association (AMA) and executive secretary-general of the China 3D Printing Technology Industry Alliance, told the Global Times ”Over the past 30 years, 3D printing technology has already been applied in the aerospace, automotive and biomedical industries, and now the conditions are ripe for it to scale up.”

Although 3D printing can create complex designs, it cannot compete today with the cost efficiences of traditional manufacturing. The innovation centers are therefore looking to develop complementary manufacturing processes.

The alliance will build 10 innovation centers at a cost of 20 million yuan ($3.3 million) for each.

“China can consider developing an industry-led strategic transformation plan to focus on technological innovation and differentiation. It can enact policies that bring in capital and technology-­intensive industries from developed countries and it should work on improving how to utilize innovations imported from other countries,” Ricky Tung, co-leader of the Manufacturing Industry Group at auditing and consulting firm Deloitte China, told the Global Times. ”Going forward, (China) should continue to improve incentive mechanisms to cultivate technical leaders and promote deeper cooperation between enterprises and academic institutions,” said Tung.


Via Global Times.

Photo by TechYizu used under Creative Commons license.

Top 3D Printing News Last Week: 3D Printed Gun, US Government, 3DLT

3D printing news

3D Printing News

A roundup of the top 3D printing news from May 7 to May 11:

Tuesday, May 7

Thursday, May 9

Saturday, May 11



Obama Announces $200 Million Program for 3D Printing and Innovation

Obama 3D printing

President Obama Sees 3D Printed Future

The White House has announced a new program to create three new manufacturing innovation institutes, funding it with $200 million from the Department of Defense, Department of Energy, Department of Commerce, NASA, and the National Science Foundation. 3D printing is a key focus of the program.

Back in February, Obama called 3D printing a “revolutionary” technology in his State of the Union address, describing NAMII, the recipient of a $30 million Federal grant as “a once-shuttered warehouse [and] now a state-of-the art lab where new workers are mastering the 3D printing that has the potential to revolutionize the way we make almost everything.”

Why 3D Printing?

In the White House press release, some example uses of 3D printing, or additive manufacturing, are presented.

The Department of Defense envisions customizing parts on site for operational systems that would otherwise be expensive to make or ship. The Department of Energy anticipates that additive processes would be able to save more than 50% energy use compared to today’s ‘subtractive’ manufacturing processes.

Read the full announcement at whitehouse.gov.

Top 10 Countdown: Most Popular 3D Printing Stories in February 2013

President Obama 3D Printing State of the Union

Here are the top 10 most popular stories On 3D Printing brought you in February 2013.

10. 3D Printing Retail Store Hosts Open House in Denver, CO

9. Make: Where Do We Really Stand On 3D Printing?

8. Cornell Professor Develops Technique for 3D Printing a Human Ear

7. Details on the 3D Printing Institute from Obama’s SOTU Address

6. Accused of Stealing, 3D Printing Design Marketplace 3DLT Apologizes

5. NPR Discusses 3D Printed Guns on Morning Edition

4. Biofabrication: Scientists 3D Print Stem Cells to Create Human Organs

3. Video: The Best 7 TED Talks On 3D Printing

2. Must-See Infographic: How 3D Printing Will Revolutionize the Classroom

1. President Obama Calls 3D Printing “Revolutionary” in State of the Union


Thanks for reading in February!