The world’s smallest phone charger

http://www.3ders.org/articles/20150819-3d-printing-helps-uk-designers-develop-the-nipper-the-worlds-smallest-phone-charger.html

3D printing helps UK designers develop The Nipper, ‘The World’s Smallest Phone Charger’

When considering that nearly everybody carries a smartphone these days – in addition to their keys and wallet – it makes perfect sense why so many designers and manufacturers have been actively designing accessories ranging from speakers and cases to stands and sleeves for the mobile devices.  However, the one problem that everybody runs into is also among one of the most difficult to solve: battery life.

Inspired by the need to create a portable, on-the-go power solution for smartphone users that doesn’t involve carrying bulky cases or powerpacks, designers Doug Stokes and Chris Tait of Design on Impulse in the UK recently created what they are calling “The World’s Smallest Phone Charger” – AKA “The Nipper”.

Consisting of two AA batteries and a magnet that reside on a user’s keyring (the batteries are only installed when in use), the 10 gram Nipper is capable of charging smartphones while users are out and about or perhaps most importantly – during an emergency situation.

“The Nipper was primarily designed for emergency use,” explain the designers.

“When all else fails, when all hope is lost – in situations where you desperately need to use your phone but have no access to laptops, electrical sockets, wind turbines or solar panels the Nipper will be there for you.”

The design of the Nipper contains 3 neodynium magnets that are responsible for both making an electrical connection to the circuit board as well as holding the batteries together.  According to the designers, the circuit is actually a “boost converter” that converts the power from the batteries into a 5v power supply to charge your phone.  For today’s modern smartphones, this means that the batteries can supply an additional 10% battery capacity in 30 minutes, and 20% in just over an hour.

Like so many other hardware developers today, Stokes and Tait turned to 3D printing to make their idea for the World’s Smallest Phone Charger real – and have put the concept on Kickstarter to help it gain some traction; already, the campaign has surpassed their $10K goal by more than $3K and it has three weeks left to go.

“If we’re making small volumes of Nippers, we’ll 3D print the cases out of high quality nylon, but if demand is high and we have to make a full Nipper army we’re going to injection mold the cases out of polypropylene,” says the designers.

“The two halves of the Nipper are connected by either fabric or genuine leather straps. The neodynium are nickel plated on the classic Nippers, and gold plated on the premium Nippers.”

While the concept is certainly impressive, the fact that Tait and Stokes just graduated school together and entered a national design competition to develop The Nipper makes the story all the more impressive.

“One moment we were doing our finals and the next we were in the centre of London, working on a product we’d come up with in our flat which we’d been given support to make into a reality,” said Stokes.

“A lot of people who have just graduated are spending the summer travelling or trying to find a job and move out of home. But being able to go straight from university to working in Somerset House every day, where you’ve got Parliament on one side and St Paul’s on the other, is pretty amazing.”

Considering that the device comes in a number of colors and will likely expand to include multiple strap options, the charger is likely to fit with anybody’s style similar to modern smartphone case designs.

For those interested, a ‘Classic Nipper’ can be purchased starting at just $23 over on Kickstarter.

3ders.org

by Simon | Aug 19, 2015

http://www.3ders.org/articles/20150819-3d-printing-helps-uk-designers-develop-the-nipper-the-worlds-smallest-phone-charger.html

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Huge 3D printed scorpion!

http://3dprint.com/88633/3d-printed-scorpion-2/

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This Huge Scorpion is 3D Printed in 53 Articulated Parts

When 3D printing really began catching on among at-home users about 2 years ago, it was fairly common to see various designs for figurines, most of which were not very poseable or articulated. Over the past year or so though, we’ve begun to see designers start coming up with ways to make more articulated figures, figures which feature several movable parts.

For one 25-year-old Greek designer, named Vasileios Katsanis, moving to London presented him with an opportunity to use his creative ability to fabricate unique 3D printable objects when he joined the MyMiniFactory Academy.

“I believe that 3D printing is an amazing way to express yourself, create art, useful objects and interesting mechanisms and I think that there is a lot of future in it,” Katsanis tells 3DPrint.com. “Since I joined the academy, I was flirting with the idea of creating a poseable creature.”

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And that is exactly what he ended up doing. Katsanis didn’t just create any 3D printed posable creature though, he took it to the extreme with a very unique, and very large 3D printed scorpion. It consists of 53 parts, and measures 110cm x 40cm x 60cm in size.

“The body of insects bend only at specific points – they are like ‘mechanical’ creatures,” Katsanis tells us. “So, I thought that a 3D printed insect with moving parts would look way more natural than, for example, a mammal with moving. From that point on, I had to decide what insect [I was going to design] and I chose the scorpion because I think it is one of the most fascinating beings in the world of insects.”

Katsanis’ scorpion was modeled in Zbrush, and then he used Rhino to split it into the 53 individual parts. Then joints were added, which he downloaded the design for from MyMiniFactory. The joints all had to be resized to fit the various body parts of the scorpion. Instead of adding all of the joints vertically, Katsanis instead had to angle them to different degreess in order to ensure that they moved in a similar fashion to how a real scorpion does.

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The head of the scorpion is split into 6 parts and the upper claws into 2, in order to avoid the need for any support material going into the joints. The parts were glued together once printed on his Dremel Idea Builder 3D Printer. In all, the 53 parts took approximately 35 hours to print out. After fully printing it out and assembling it Katsanis proceeded to paint his creature all black with a grayish blue color on its sides, the stinger and the eyes.

Katsanis has made the design files for his scorpion available for anyone to download and 3D print free of charge on MyMiniFactory.

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3dprint.com

by  | AUGUST 14, 2015

First 3D printed pill

http://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/architecture-design-blog/2015/aug/05/the-first-3d-printed-pill-opens-up-a-world-of-downloadable-medicine

Pink Pills

The first 3D-printed pill opens up a world of downloadable medicine

Now that the US has approved a 3D-printed drug, pharmaceuticals companies in the UK are hoping their patents will be next – from the pyramid-shaped pill-makers to the man who has done for drugs what Apple did for music.

With architects printing lumpy plastic houses, fashion designers printing oddly-shaped dresses and food companies printing dodgy-looking hamburgers, the hype around 3D printing can often seem like a novelty. But news that the world’s first 3D-printed drug has just been approved suggests that, beyond the realm of personalised plastic trinkets, the technology still has a huge amount to offer.

Developed by Ohio-based pharmaceutical company Aprecia, Spritam levetiracetam is a new drug to control seizures brought on by epilepsy. Approved by the US Food and Drug Administration this week, it employs the company’s trademark “ZipDose” technology, which uses 3D printing to create a more porous pill. Its structure means the pill dissolves more quickly on contact with liquid, making it much easier to swallow high doses than a conventional tablet.

The 3D printing process also allows layers of medication to be packaged more tightly in precise dosages, and it points to a future of more personalised medicine. 3D-printed pills could be custom-ordered, based on specific patient needs, rather than on a one-drug-fits-all approach.

“For the last 50 years, we have manufactured tablets in factories and shipped them to hospitals,” said Dr Mohamed Albed Alhnan, a lecturer in pharmaceutics at the University of Central Lancashire. “For the first time, this process means we can produce tablets much closer to the patient.” By making slight adjustments to the software before printing, hospitals could adjust doses for individual patients, a process of personalisation that is otherwise prohibitively expensive.

The porous pill technology could also have important benefits for other drugs, according to Marvin Rorick, a neurologist at Riverhills Neuroscience in Cincinnati. “In my experience, patients and caregivers often have difficulty following a treatment regimen,” he said. “Whether they are dealing with a swallowing disorder or the daily struggle of getting a child to take his or her medication, adherence can be a challenge. Especially for children and seniors, having an option for patients to take their medication as prescribed is important to managing this disease.”

While 3D printing has already been embraced in other medical fields – from printing new jawbones in facial reconstruction to custom-shaped teeth and other dental implants, as well as producing personalised prosthetics – this is the first time the technology has been approved for the production of drugs; and it won’t be the last time.

Researchers at the School of Pharmacy of University College London have been developing a technique to 3D-print pills in different shapes, from pyramids to doughnuts, using a technique known as “hot melt extrusion”. The different forms, which would be hard to manufacture using standard production techniques, release drugs at different rates. Their research has found that the rate of drug release is dependent not on surface area, but on the surface area-to-volume ratio. A pyramid-shaped pill, for example, releases a drug slower than a cube or a sphere, allowing absorption to be controlled.

While the Spritam pill similarly uses 3D printing primarily to change the physical structure of the pill, other researchers have been working on how the technology could be used to develop new drugs at a molecular level. Professor Lee Cronin at Glasgow University has been working on a “chemputer”, a sort of 3D-printing chemistry set, which can be programmed to make chemical reactions and produce different molecules. Describing the process as similar to what Apple did for music, he envisages a world where patients will be able to download the “recipes” for drugs and print them at home. In the future, he suggests, we won’t be buying drugs, so much as blueprints or apps.

theguardian.com

by  | Wednesday 5 August 2015

3D printing – the future of global food?

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/rob-commentary/is-3-d-printing-the-future-of-global-food/article24981139/

Is 3D printing the future of global food?

A few weeks ago, Londoners were able to eat at the world’s first 3D-printed pop-up restaurant. In early June, a German-based company introduced the word’s first plug-and-play food printer, which may be ready for shipping as early as next year. With the cost to produce this technology dropping, making it increasingly accessible, 3D printing could fundamentally change our relationship with food.

Simply put, the process uses ingredients to generate three-dimensional meals by placing layers of compounded food on top of each other. Since 2012, the food industry has used this technology to produce products, including candy, chocolate, pizza, noodles and even crackers. Despite its relative novelty, many companies are recognizing its potential – and recognizing how 3D food printing can revolutionize our global food systems.

In particular, 3D printing could radically alter food production practices by enabling companies to manage resources more responsibly and reduce waste across the food continuum – whether you are a processor, a distributor or a consumer with leftovers. Indeed, many well-known agribusiness corporations have already dedicated a great deal of time and research on 3D systems. There is a potential benefit to consumer health, as well. For example, PepsiCo recently announced that it is using 3D printing to develop a healthier potato chip.

Beyond manufacturing, 3D printing could also boost culinary creativity by allowing renowned chefs to create shapes and forms that were previously thought impossible. Some have argued that it can give the food-service industry the ability to customize products based on individual nutritional needs.

Given the demographic challenges we face in coming decades, this can become a key benefit. In Germany, many nursing homes already produce a pureed 3D-printed food product called smoothfoods to residents who have difficulty ingesting food, or even chewing them. Regular smoothies have been on the menu, but haven’t proved as popular. Elderly residents eating smoothfoods can receive all the nutrients they require while enjoying an aesthetically pleasing meal. As a result, they can live healthier, higher quality lives.

More significantly, some experts believe 3D printing could effectively address global food security challenges. Ingredients such as algae, duckweed and grass could be imbedded into familiar dishes. A recent study in Holland added milled mealworm to a shortbread cookie recipe through 3D printing – most would agree that a cookie-shaped food product is much more appetizing than the look and feel of a worm. By using insects and other protein sources, the growing need for protein the globe is currently experiencing, which adds increased pressure to beef and pork prices, could be mitigated.

3D food printing does still face major obstacles. The technology remains expensive and complex. The engineering required to produce food is much more sophisticated than producing objects with metal and plastic. Food scientists acknowledge how difficult it is to effectively make edible meals in 3D food printing – ingredients in food interact in many complex ways, particularly with meats. At this point, 3D food printers are not known to produce great tasting food, and still do not have the overwhelming endorsement of the culinary world.

However, the technology is improving at an incredible pace, allowing us to believe that very soon, anything might be possible.

The concept of 3D printed food is foreign to many of us, and may challenge our collective appreciation of where food comes from, and how it is produced. Let’s face it – when it comes to food, we are all traditionalists to some extent, protective of our food heritage. Printing food is a drastic departure from the art of cooking as a way of celebrating nature’s bounty.

But the reality is that in just a few years, we will have more than nine billion people to feed. One way to responsibly address global food security challenges is to consider technology as a primary source for sustainable solutions. Treating alternatives to established food production systems as mere fads may not be the best approach.

After all, the future of the dinner table may be as different, and as simple as “Press print and eat.”

theglobeandmail.com

by SYLVAIN CHARLEBOIS | Jun. 17, 2015 10:39AM EDT

3D printed prosthetics for Ugandan schoolchildren

http://www.3ders.org/articles/20150603-3d-printed-prosthetics-get-ugandan-amputees-back-on-their-feet.html

3D printed prosthetics get Ugandan schoolchildren back on their feet

Although we’ve heard numerous stories about how 3D printing has helped enable hundreds of those in need of prosthetic limbs, a majority of the cases have been located in the United States or the United Kingdom where 3D printers or 3D printing providers are becoming increasingly common and access to a 3D printer is getting easier than ever before.  While this is excellent news, there are still many world locations where affordable prosthetic devices – and even 3d printers in general – are needed and could be used perhaps even more than those located in more developed Western countries.

In the meantime – thankfully – various organizations and 3D printing providers have been picking up 3D printing jobs as needed to ensure that those who need the prosthetic devices the most are getting the proper care that they need.  More recently, the University of Toronto and charity Christian Blind Mission took it upon themselves to produce prostheses for a Ugandan schoolboy who had been in need of a prosthetic device for years.

The schoolboy, Jesse Ayebazibwe of Kisubi, Uganda, tragically had his right leg amputated after he was hit by a truck after walking home from school three years ago.  Since then, the nine-year-old has been maneuvering with the aid of crutches – however they have since made it difficult to play or move around.  “I liked playing like a normal kid before the accident,” he said.

Thanks to the support of a local orthopaedic technologist, Moses Kaweesa of the Comprehensive Rehabilitation Services (CoRSU) in Uganda, Ayebazibwe was able to use an infrared scanner and some 3D modeling software to create a prosthetic solution for the young boy before shipping the files to Canada to be 3D printed.

“The process is quite short, that’s the beauty of the 3D printers,” said Kaweesa.  “Jesse was here yesterday, today he’s being fitted.”

While Ayebazibwe previously wore a traditional-style prosthesis last year, his new 3D printed prosthesis is among the first in a trial that could see more 3D printed prosthetic device across Uganda for others in need – thanks in no small part to the efforts of Kaweesa.

Currently, the entire country of Uganda has just 12 trained prosthetic technicians for over 250,000 children who have lost limbs, which are often due to fires or congenital diseases.  At $12,000, a portable solution consisting of a laptop, a 3d scanner and a 3d printer is not cheap – however when considering the impact that a portable prosthetic device system could have on over 200,000 children in need – in northern Uganda alone, many people have lost limbs due to decades of war where chopping off limbs was a common reality.

“There’s no support from the government for disabled people … we have a disability department and a minister for disabled people, but they don’t do anything,” said Kaweesa.  “You can travel with your laptop and scanner.”

Upon receiving his 3D printed prosthetic, Ayebazibwe was clearly ecstatic.  “(It) felt good, like my normal leg,” he said. “I can do anything now — run and play football.”

The boy’s 53-year old grandmother, Florence Akoth, looks after him, even carrying him the two kilometers to school after his leg was crushed and his life shattered. She too is thrilled.

“Now he’s liked at school, plays, does work, collects firewood and water,” said Akoth.

3ders.org

by Simon | Jun 3, 2015

http://www.3ders.org/articles/20150603-3d-printed-prosthetics-get-ugandan-amputees-back-on-their-feet.html

Pop-up restaurant in London with 3D printed foods

http://www.ctvnews.ca/sci-tech/pop-up-restaurant-in-london-to-serve-3d-printed-foods-1.2378486

Pop-up restaurant in London to serve 3D printed foods

It’s being billed as the world’s first 3D printed, pop-up restaurant.

To highlight the potential of the emerging technology in the food world, organizers of the 3D Printshow in London have tapped a Michelin-starred chef to create a meal composed entirely of 3D printed foods.

Using fresh and seasonal ingredients, the chef will show attendees at the trade show how to create gourmet dishes in live demonstrations.

3D printed food from Foodini

Visitors will also be taught how to ‘think in 3D’ and tap into the technology’s creative potential by showing off a chocolate globe which opens up to reveal different ‘flavor compartments.’

During the half-day gastronomy conference “Press Print to Eat,” attendees will get hands-on experience on how to cook up recipes using the 3D technology.

“The gastro-revolution continues not only to find new ways to present and prepare our food, but new state-of-the-art ways to create it. From 3D printed chocolate machines for customised party food to micro-engineered nutritional prints, we’ve been slowly edging towards the synthesis of entire meals,” said Kerry Hogarth, founder of 3D Printshow, in a statement.

Indeed, some experts predict that 3D printing has the potential of revolutionizing the way we eat, calling it the future of food.

Others go so far as claiming that 3D printers will become as common as the microwave in the average household.

At one end of the spectrum, the technology is being eyed by the world of haute gastronomy: ChefJet Pro, for instance, debuted as the world’s first professional food 3D printer and is designed to help pastry chefs create bespoke confections for their cakes, candies and desserts.

Think edible lace, latticework, sculptural and ornate cakes, toppers, candies and confectionery.

At the other end, there’s the Foodini, designed by Natural Machines as a household appliance that allows home cooks to create foods like homemade ravioli and custom-designed cookies — minus the labor.

To use, consumers feed the countertop appliance with fresh foods and ingredients.

3D Printshow London takes place at The Old Truman Brewery in London May 21-23.

References:

ctvnews.ca

http://www.ctvnews.ca/sci-tech/pop-up-restaurant-in-london-to-serve-3d-printed-foods-1.2378486

3D printing capabilities and drones

http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/drones-might-be-getting-smaller-3d-printing-technology-can-make-them-faster-lighter-1498237

Boeing and Sheffield University's 3D printed UAV

Drones might be getting smaller but 3D printing technology can make them faster and lighter

The past two years has seen the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) industry transform from being a military tool and a niche aerial hobbyist aircraft to a technology that has a wide number of commercial and consumer use cases.

This has come about due to the advent of much smaller UAVs, or rather drones that weigh less than 20kg, which has finally convinced authorities around the world that they are safe enough for widespread use.

However, although they are light, drones are about to get a lot lighter still as 3D printing technology is now being trialled to speed up prototyping and production, and the materials being developed are even better than those used in consumer and professional drone rigs today.

In the UK, aerospace and defence manufacturer Boeing is working with the University of Sheffield to research and develop complexly designed UAVs more cheaply using 3D printing, which is also known as additive manufacturing.

The engineers have succeeded in using Fused Deposition Modelling (FDM), a type of 3D printing technology, to print out all the components needed in a drone, including the catapult rig used to launch it into the air.

The drone consists of nine 3D printed thermoplastic parts that snap together. It features blended winglets and is powered by an electric ducted fan propulsion system incorporated into the airframe’s central spine.

“We’d like to use this kind of thing to show novel manufacturing methods. It’s still heavier than drones that use a foam wing, but the benefit is that you can quickly change it,” Dr Garth Nicholson, principal design engineer of Sheffield University’s Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre with Boeing’s Design Prototyping and Testing Centre, told IBTimes UK at the SkyTech 2015 drone trade show in London.

“We envision that in a humanitarian situation with a number of pilots who could only bring a limited number of spare parts of them, they could have a 3D printer in the field to print parts, or replace and put in different sensors that they need at the time.

“The benefit would be that you could also quickly rip it up, dispose of it safely and produce a new completely new rig in less than 24 hours.”

Using CarbonSLS to build drones

Other companies, such as Buckinghamshire-based firm Graphite Additive Manufacturing is looking into Selective Laser Sintering (SLS), another 3D printing technology, in order to produce lighter drones.

Drone 3D printed from CarbonSLS

“We’ve developed a material called CarbonSLS which uses a nylon powder with added carbon fibre strands. It was developed for use in Formula One racing cars, so it’s strong and it’s light,” Keith Haynes, project manager of Graphite Additive Manufacturing, told IBTimes UK, also speaking at SkyTech 2015.

“By using CarbonSLS, we were able to save at least 25% in weight by replacing the frame of this quadcopter drone with a frame made from our material.

“It flew just as well as the original, but even easier to control as it’s moving less weight around.”

The firm was set up two years ago by Kevin Lambourne, who formerly worked for Red Bull Racing to provide 3D printed parts to build Formula One race cars, so the materials developed have had to be very tough.

Haynes said: “We’ve come from a motor sports background and it’s not something we planned to go into, but we’ve had so many requests from the military, aerospace companies and small drone businesses about using our material to build drones that we’re now actively promoting it.”

ibtimes.co.uk

by at SkyTech 2015 | April 24, 2015 18:16 BST

First 3D printed laptop

Thanks to the massive support that it received on Indiegogo, it looks like we’re going to be seeing and hearing a lot more about 3D-printed laptops very soon! 🙂

http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2014-11/11/pi-top

With just 68 hours till the deadline, the world’s first 3D-printed Raspberry Pi laptop, Pi-Top, has already smashed its Indiegogo campaign target, racking up a whopping $129,000 (£81,000).

What makes Pi-Top stand out is that it fuses a Printed Circuit Board (PCB) design and 3D printing — a combination that endows you with the prerequisite know-how to create your own hardware product, according to its creators.

The main aim of the project is to make “hardware as accessible as software,” so the brains behind this 3D-printed laptop want to make their product as beginner-friendly as possible.

With that in mind, the creators — a group of studentengineers from various UK universities — have ensured that anybody can make the kit in an evening.

Creativity is also key to the product as Pi-Top aims to provide a platform on which you can hone your computing skills and learn to code your own hardware. What’s more, as learning through gaming has become a big thing these days, Pi-Top wants its consumers to take part in that trend. The makers state on their Indiegogo page that, “a gamified learning experience will take you to a stage where you are designing your own components and products”.

While the Pi-Top boasts versatility through its customisable design, whereby you can 3D-print your own 5″ x 5″ case, the product’s not just about the appearance. The makers want you to “learn how to make and control home automation devices, robots, and consumer electronics,” and they’ve also toured the UK, imparting their technological skills to UK pupils.

WIRED.CO.UK
by EMIKO JOZUKA | 11 NOVEMBER 14 

3D printed ears to transplant

3D printed ears are going to be transplanted on children in India, hopefully restoring their hearing!

At this rate it looks like in a number of years we might be able to order 3D printed body parts online and having them delivered to our local hospital/clinic for transplants 🙂

http://3dprintingindustry.com/…/scientists-transplant-3d-p…/

The BBC will be airing an exciting special BBC Inside Out London special in which the show’s host, Dr. Ranj Singh, pays a visit to the lab of Professor Alex Selfalian at University College London where he and his team are in the process of 3D printing ears made from real human tissue.

As you’ll see in the preview clip below, the lab uses uses accurate scan data to 3D print an ear replica from a nanopolymer.  The print is then sterilized and implanted under the skin of a patient’s forearm, where it acts as a scaffold for human tissue.  Skin and blood vessels grow in around the print over the course of four to eight weeks, at which point, a plastic surgeon removes the ear and places it on the head.

3D printed ear transplanted into rat skin

The scientists at UCL have already tested the growth procedure on rats and, in the next few months, they hope to perform their first human trials in Mumbai, India, where twelve children are awaiting the surgery.  If the implants are a success, the procedure could replace the current method for handling this congenital deformity, which requires shaping rib cartilage into the shape of an ear and three or four different surgeries.

3DPRINTINGINDUSTRY.COM
by  | OCTOBER 6, 2014

Moon materials as an filaments to 3D printing?

Check out the concept behind self-sustainable SPACE 3D printing, which would lead to 3D printers in space (such as the one on the International Space Station) using materials from asteroids and the moon for 3D printing! 🙂

https://uk.news.yahoo.com/space-3d-printer-could-moon-dust-…

Moon dust may be used in 3D printers in space

This week the first 3D printer to be launched into space docked at the International Space Station, but the company behind the initiative is already thinking far beyond that – it wants to print using moon materials.

3D printing could have a revolutionary affect on space travel, with astronauts capable of printing key tools and parts instead of waiting for resupply ships. It will be both cost- and time-efficient.

But this first 3D printer, which reached the ISS on the latest SpaceX resupply mission, is just the pilot test.

Down the line, Made In Space is eyeing self-sustaining space 3D printing, where astronauts can use the materials from asteroids and other planets as the basis of the product they’re producing.

In the video Made In Space CEO Aaron Kemmer says his company is testing moon dust simulate in the printers specially designed for the ISS.

They may be preparing for that eventuality, but first Made In Space, NASA, SpaceX and all the other organisations with an interest in space manufacturing, need the inaugural 3D printer to work.

3D printing in space is complicated: the lack of gravity causes problems for the printing process, including convection complications, and then of course there’s the emitted noxious gases which won’t work so well in the sealed environment of a space station.

Made In Space’s microgravity is seen as the solution, with NASA signing off on both its safety and integrity.

But just how effectively it serves the 3D printing process in space will determine how fast agencies develop the technology, and how soon we’ll be using moon rocks and dust to make things.

The 3D printer now in residence at ISS was due to be launched last month, but take-off was delayed for a myriad of reasons.

Last week Kemmer said: “Today, we’re all here waiting for a rocket to launch. We were waiting yesterday—and we might be waiting until Tuesday or Thursday.

And this is the problem with the way we do space missions. With our printer, we are changing that. No longer do you have to say, ‘I hope that rocket launches, because those astronauts really need that fix.'”

After this one comes a second-generation printer – Additive Manufacturing Facility – that’s bigger and better able to use strong materials.

Success begets success, and before long we may have astronauts living off of alien land, using out-of-this-world minerals and materials to 3D-print whatever it is they need. 

UK.NEWS.YAHOO.COM
by Zachary Davies Boren, IB Times | Thu, Sep 25, 2014