Will 3D printing technology serve as the harbinger for future space odysseys? It seems so. The Hawthorne-based SpaceX will soon carry the first 3-D printer to the International Space Station (ISS). 3D printers will enable astronauts to make any part of the spaceship in a jiffy negating the need to carry cumbersome spares.
Printing project manager Niki Werkheiser said, “We could go from having a part designed on the ground to print in the orbit. The on-demand capability can revolutionize the constrained supply chain model we are limited to today and will be critical for exploration missions.”