NASA for first time emails hardware digital file for 3D printing on ISS
For the first time in history, NASA has emailed hardware digital file for 3D printing to International Space Station (ISS).
Using this digital file, a ratcheting socket wrench (hardware) was manufactured using ISS’s onboard 3D printer.
This 3D printer was installed in ISS in September 2014 by collaboration between NASA and company Made In Space. In November 2014, the 3D printer had started manufacturing the first 3-D printed object in space as a replacement part for itself.
Previously, if astronauts in space needed an item or any technical part they would have to wait until it is flown up on supply flights.
But now, the 3D printing is providing astronauts on-demand printing and manufacturing of a custom-designed tool whenever they needed.
3D printing technology
- 3D printing is a process of making three dimensional solid objects from a digital file with extreme precision.
- This technology is also termed additive manufacturing as the 3D printed object is created us additive processes.
- In an additive process an object is created by laying down successive layers of manufacturing material on each other until the entire object is created.
- This technology has limitless possibilities and can create almost anything with just raw material and a computer generated model.