NASA sent its first ever commercial manufacturing facility to the International Space Station (ISS) on Tuesday in what is widely being perceived as a still nascent, but important strategic move that could go a long way in helping out humanity with its long-harbored ambition of colonizing space.
No heavy machinery are required, though! The space agency only required to send a specially designed 3D printer for this new manufacturing setup.
Worth noting, it’s not the first 3D printer in space – NASA has done it before once (over a year ago to be more precise). However, the new 3D printer dispatched to the ISS on Tuesday happens to be a more advanced variant of the previous one. It’s called Additive Manufacturing Facility (AMF), designed by the space manufacturing company Made In Space.
The 3D Printer At ISS Is Available For The Masses
The AMF is not just a space-toy for astronauts inhabiting the ISS, even the common masses can pay to use it. Buyers don’t need to worry about quality, though! NASA assures, as the AMF has been bestowed with the technology to operate smoothly in a microgravity environment.
When it’s operational, Made in Space will have full control over the device and their engineers will be able to operate the device remotely from earth.
According to Spencer Pitman, head of the product strategy at Made in Space, they already 20 paying customers on board for the AMF. Some of these customers include universities that want to print medical components, high schools that are hosting space-related design competition, and companies looking to manufacture and deliver parts for satellites or spacecraft at a cheaper cost, TechCrunch reports.