The AMF would not be possible without our work with NASA on the 3D printing in space experiment made possible by the first zero-G 3D printer
Sunnyvale, CA (PRWEB) January 20, 2016
The first ever in-space manufacturing was made possible through a NASA and Made In Space (MIS) collaboration called the “3D Printing in Zero-Gravity Experiment.” The experiment was a critical pathfinder for both NASA and MIS and involved building the first zero-gravity 3D printer; designated “3D Print.” The promising results from that experiment have given MIS and NASA the confidence to further invest in proving out the case for off-world additive manufacturing.
The "3D Printing in Zero-Gravity Experiment" consisted of printing a series of 14 unique shapes, some multiple times, to determine material properties of objects that are 3D printed in space. The overwhelming success of this initial in-space manufacturing experiment has laid the groundwork for MIS to build the successor device, the Additive Manufacturing Facility (AMF). Soon the AMF will be launched to the International Space Station (ISS) U.S. National Laboratory (ISS National Laboratory) becoming a commercially available facility designed to last the entire lifetime of the space station itself.
“The AMF would not be possible without our work with NASA on the 3D printing in space experiment made possible by the first zero-G 3D printer,” said Andrew Rush, President of Made In Space.
Astronauts aboard the ISS will not be the only ones benefiting from the addition of the AMF to the ISS. The Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS) has reached an agreement with MIS to identify, evaluate and manifest research opportunities capable of benefitting life on Earth through 3D printing in microgravity. CASIS is the organization tasked by NASA to manage, promote and broker research onboard the ISS U.S. National Laboratory. Via CASIS, AMF will be utilized to conduct science and research for high schools, universities, medical doctors, research groups, corporations, non-profits, and even private individuals.
In October, Made in Space and Lowe’s Innovation Labs, the disruptive innovation hub of Lowe’s Companies, Inc., announced they would become the first to launch a commercial 3D printer to space. The printer is slated to arrive at the International Space Station (ISS) early this year and will bring tools and technology to astronauts in space. As part of this initiative, a demonstration display of the AMF will be housed at the Lowe’s Sunnydale, Calif. store starting this month and will provide customers with a fun, interactive ISS-themed experience. Despite the Earth-centric nature of these new Made In Space commercial activities, none of this could have happened without NASA’s commitment to seeing 3D printing in space become a reality.
The Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS) was selected by NASA in July 2011 to maximize use of the International Space Station (ISS) U.S. National Laboratory through 2020. CASIS is dedicated to supporting and accelerating innovations and new discoveries that will enhance the health and wellbeing of people and our planet. For more information, visit: http://www.iss-casis.org.
About the ISS National Laboratory
In 2005, Congress designated the U.S. portion of the International Space Station as the nation's newest national laboratory to maximize its use for improving life on Earth, promoting collaboration among diverse users, and advancing STEM education. This unique laboratory environment is available for use by other U.S. government agencies and by academic and private institutions, providing access to the permanent microgravity setting, vantage point in low Earth orbit, and varied environments of space.
About Made In Space
Founded in 2010 as the world’s first space manufacturing company, Made In Space, Inc. (MIS) has become a world leader in utilizing 3D printing for aerospace applications. In 2014, a NASA/Made In Space team sent the world's first 3D printer to the International Space Station (ISS). In partnership with CASIS, managers of the ISS National Lab, and Lowe’s Innovation Labs, the disruptive technology hub of the Lowe’s Home Improvement chain, Made In Space will be sending the first commercial 3D printer to the ISS next year, designated the Additive Manufacturing Facility (AMF). Additionally, the firm was recently awarded a NASA contract to 3D print and assemble structures in the vacuum of space using their Archinaut architecture.
Lowe’s Companies, Inc. is a FORTUNE® 50 home improvement company serving approximately 16 million customers a week in the United States, Canada and Mexico through its stores and online at Lowes.com, Lowes.ca and Lowes.com.mx. With fiscal year 2014 sales of $56.2 billion, Lowe’s has more than 1,845 home improvement and hardware stores and 265,000 employees. Founded in 1946 and based in Mooresville, North Carolina, Lowe’s supports the communities it serves through programs that focus on K-12 public education and community improvement projects. For more information, visit Lowes.com.