Do 3D printers work in space? © NASA

Do 3D printers work in space?

Asked by: Chris Mayhew

Yes! NASA’s ‘In-Space Manufacturing’ project has been running since 2014, when the first 3D printer was sent to the International Space Station. The printer releases a stream of heated toothpaste-like plastic from a tube and deposits it layer by layer to create a 3D object, and it was found to work perfectly in microgravity.

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Objects created by this printer and its successor include a ratchet wrench, an antenna component and a part to connect two onboard robots.

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