NASA recently hired a Silicon Valley company called Made In Space to create a “toaster-sized” 3D Printer custom-made for use by astronauts in the International Space Station (ISS). This 3D printer made for space will vastly reduce waste, stress, and probably boredom for astronauts in the ISS.
From now on, any life-saving thing an astronaut needs can likely be printed right then and there for immediate use. And think plenty of years in the future – we could live in space if 3D printers could provide everything we need!
This magical object is not limitless, however. “Space-bound printers will also, eventually, need to capture gasses emitted from the extruded plastics, be able to print their own parts for self-repairs and have some abilities to recycle printed products into new ones.”
Another limit is that instead of the huge inventory of stuff in space, astronauts will now need “materials, in this case filament, and a lot of power” to effectively utilize the 3D printer.