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3D Printer In Zero-G Experiment (USA), 2013–14

This is a 3D Printer in Zero-G Experiment. It was made by Made In Space, Inc. and NASA Marshall Space Flight Center.

This object is not part of the Cooper Hewitt's permanent collection. It was able to spend time at the museum on loan from Made In Space, Inc. as part of Tools: Extending Our Reach.

It is dated 2013–14. Its medium is aluminum, steel, plastic.

Made in Space and NASA partnered to launch the “3D Printing in Zero-G Experiment” on September 23, 2014. Referred to as “the flying factory,” the goal is to demonstrate manufacturing capabilities in space and free astronauts from their reliance on Earth for basic equipment. Three-D printers use an additive extrusion-based process to build objects layer by layer out of polymers, composites, and other materials. The challenges of designing such a device for space are numerous: the printer must account for the movement, or “float,” of components during liftoff and in microgravity, survive vibrations and changes in pressure during launch, and be provided with adequate electrical power and ventilation. But with the help of this specially designed 3D printer, the current supply chain from Earth to space can be largely bypassed, allowing astronauts to create everything from common instruments to replacement parts.

It is credited Courtesy of Made In Space, Inc. and NASA.

Our curators have highlighted 1 object that are related to this one.

Its dimensions are

H x W x D (3D Printer): 40 × 44.1 × 44.6 cm (15 3/4 × 17 3/8 × 17 9/16 in.)

We have 1 video that features 3D Printer In Zero-G Experiment (USA), 2013–14.

Made in Space

A demonstration of the first 3D Printer to be used in space.

This object was previously on display as a part of the exhibition Tools: Extending Our Reach.

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<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url= |title=3D Printer In Zero-G Experiment (USA), 2013–14 |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=25 January 2020 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>