Study Material | Test Series
Drishti IAS
call1800-121-6260 / 011-47532596
Drishti The Vision Foundation
(A unit of VDK Eduventures Pvt. Ltd.)
mains Test Series 2018
First 3-D Printed Object Developed in the Space
Jan 06, 2015

The world's first zero-gravity 3D printer on the International Space Station (ISS) has created the first object made using additive manufacturing, paving the way for future long-term space expeditions. This first print is the initial step towards providing an on-demand machine shop capability away from Earth.

NASA astronaut Barry Wilmore, Expedition 42 commander aboard the ISS, installed the printer and conducted the first calibration test print. Based on the test print results, the ground control team sent commands to realign the printer and printed a second calibration test. These tests verified that the printer was ready for manufacturing operation.

Later, ground controllers sent the printer the command to make the first printed part: a faceplate of the extruder's casing. This demonstrated that the printer can make replacement parts for itself. The 3-D printer uses a process formally known as additive manufacturing to heat a relatively low-temperature plastic filament and extrude it one layer at a time to build the part defined in the design file sent to the machine.

Wilmore then removed it from the printer and inspected it. Part adhesion on the tray was stronger than anticipated, which could mean layer bonding is different in microgravity, a question the team will investigate as future parts are printed. Wilmore installed a new print tray, and the ground team sent a command to fine-tune the printer alignment and printed a third calibration coupon. When Wilmore removes the calibration coupon, the ground team will be able to command the printer to make a second object.

The results from this first print are contributing to a better understanding about the parameters to use when 3-D printing on the space station.


Helpline Number : 87501 87501
To Subscribe Newsletter and Get Updates.

http://www.drishtiias.com/upsc-current-affairs-article-First-3-D-Printed-Object-Developed-in-the-Space