Zero-Gravity 3D Printer
NASA and Made In Space made a 3D printer and launched it into space
The Zero-G Printer is the first 3D printer designed to operate in zero gravity. Launched into orbit on September 21, 2014, the printer was built under a joint partnership between NASA MSFC and Made In Space. Contracted as the “3D Printing in Zero-G Experiment,” this first version of the Zero-G printer has ushered in the era of off-world manufacturing. This initial version of the Zero-G Printer is serving as a test bed for understanding the long-term effects of microgravity on 3D printing, and how it can enable the future of space exploration. Imagine a world (or space) where spacestations, satellites and solarpanels are being build directly in space - exciting stuff! This is significant because it represents the beginning of a closed off-Earth manufacturing loop. Said another way, space 3D printers will be able to print replacement tools and parts—but maybe even print their own replacement parts too. It might be awhile, but eventually a 3D printer might be entirely self-replicating.