3D printer on ISS makes first item: a part for itself

November 25, 2014 10:24 PM

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Made In Space’s 3D printer, which is currently housed on the International Space Station, has printed its first item. While Earthbound printers might be used for toys or other trinkets, the 3D printer in space has a better idea: parts. The first item the printer printed was a spare part. For itself. the 3D printer orbiting the one on your desk is very similar, too: ABS plastic, fed through a filament, that lays out items on a base. The printer arrived via SpaceX’s Dragon ship.

If you’re curious what the part was, it’s a replacement faceplate for its own print head casing (shown above). Wrap your human hed around that one for a minute.

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