In the coming year, the European based aerospace company Airbus is planning on introducing a 3D metal printer to ISS. Aptly named ‘Metal3D’, it will be the first 3D metal printer in space!
Metal3D works with metals by reaching melting temperatures of up to 2100 degrees Fahrenheit to print various tools, including radiation shields. Astronauts will be able to create many of the tools they typically use during EVA’s and other tasks around the station. This is promising for the future because it shows the capability of building much larger structures directly in space!
Airbus also stated that space debris can be a source of production material. That means we will not only be able to create larger structures in space, but we will also be cleaning up space as we do it!
Want to learn more about 3D printing and how it is used in space? Check out the links below!
Airbus sending 3D printer to space statin next year for off-Earth factories
Solving the Challenges of Long Duration Space Flight with 3D printing
Why do Space Agencies Want to Bring 3D Metal Printing to Space
Millennium Space to launch to orbit a 3D printed satellite structure