Made In Spaceadmin
Mike Chen of Made In Space and colleagues printed a 3D wrench on the International Space Station. “We had overheard ISS Commander Barry Wilmore (who goes by “Butch”) mention over the radio that he needed one,” Chen writes in Medium this week. So they designed one and sent it up. The socket wrench we just manufactured is the first object we designed on the ground and sent digitally to space, on the fly,” The team designed the tool on the computer and put it in a 3D-printer format. This was emailed to those at NASA.
The first 3D printer for space was created on the campus of NASA’s Ames Research Center. “We chose this part to print first because, after all, if we are going to have 3-D printers make spare and replacement parts for critical items in space, we have to be able to make spare parts for the printers,” NASA’s Niki Werkheiser said in a news release back in November. “If a printer is critical for explorers, it must be capable of replicating its own parts, so that it can keep working during longer journeys to places like Mars or an asteroid. Ultimately, one day, a printer may even be able to print another printer.”