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Designed to print in zero gravity, this 3D printer is being used on the International Space Station. It was launched in September 2014 and built in partnership by Made in Space NASA.
Launch of the printer
The Zero-G printer was sent into space to the space station on September 21, 2014. It’s the first time in history that we have been able to manufacture things off the surface of Earth.
This wrench was designed by Noah Paul-Gin, an engineer at Made in Space. Astronauts printed this ratchet wrench after a team on the ground sent the design up to the space station.
Printing the wrench
This still of a YouTube video shows the ratchet being printed in space, using plastic.
This calibration coupon (design available on Sketchfab) is used to test calibration of relationship between extruder and print plate.
This space container “honey jar” is a two-u00adpiece, wateru00ad-tight container for astronauts to use. Astronauts on the space station successfully printed a sample using the Zero-G Printer on the space station.
An astronaut shows off the sample honey jar that was printed in space using the Zero-G printer.
Zero-G Overhang Test
This little part was designed to test how printing works in zero gravity.
The printer's path
This awesome map shows where the printer traveled while on the space station. The lines show where the printer was when it was printing.
Students make 3D printed tools
Robert Hillan, a student in Alabama, recently won first place in the Future Engineers 3-D Printing in Space Tool Challenge for his Multipurpose Precision Maintenance Tool design. Here is a description Future Engineers gave: “The drives at the top allows the user to attach sockets. In the center are wrenches of varying sizes, allowing fewer wrenches to be carried to the job site. On the left is a precision measuring tool along with wire gauges and a single edged wire stripper. In the center is an outline for Velcro to be applied allowing an easy storage around the station.”