The printer works by extruding heated plastic, which then builds layer upon layer to create three-dimensional objects. Testing this on the station is the first step toward creating a working “machine shop” in space. This capability may decrease cost and risk on the station, which will be critical when space explorers venture far from Earth and will create an on-demand supply chain for needed tools and parts. Long-term missions would benefit greatly from onboard manufacturing capabilities. Data and experience gathered in this demonstration will improve future 3-D manufacturing technology and equipment for the space program, allowing a greater degree of autonomy and flexibility for astronauts.
Image Credit: NASA/Emmett Given via NASA http://www.nasa.gov/content/international-space-station-s-3-d-printer
With a high of 33F and a low of 26F.
The knowledge gained through simulation results like this one help researchers better understand the sun, its variations, and its interactions with Earth and the solar system.
Image Credit: Robert Stein, Michigan State University; Timothy Sandstrom, NASA/Ames
> Related: NASA showcased more than 35 of the agency’s exciting computational achievements at SC14, the international supercomputing conference, Nov. 16-21, 2014, in New Orleans. via NASA http://www.nasa.gov/ames/magnetic-field-loops-on-the-sun
With a high of 31F and a low of 25F.