Why Ship Parts to Space When You Can Make Them There?

International Space Station

Made in Space, a company formed out of the most recent Singularity University summer session, is getting a bit of publicity on its efforts to send a 3-D printer to the International Space Station. Space.com reports:

Three-dimensional printers make objects by sequentially depositing thin layers of “feedstock,” which can be metal, plastic or a variety of other materials.

Printing out parts in space would save a great deal of time and money, according to Made in Space. And the technology could eventually be transplanted to other worlds such as the moon, where it could help human colonies gain a foothold by printing out robot parts or buildings, piece by piece.

“It makes perfect sense that we should build everything for space, in space,” said Jason Dunn, one of Made in Space’s founders.

Dunn discussed the company’s business model and plans here recently at NASA’s Ames Research Center, during a conference called Space Manufacturing 14: Critical Technologies for Space Settlement. The meeting was organized by the nonprofit Space Studies Institute.

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