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Plastic manufacturing into outer space

Published on:2015/1/27 9:24:34

Keyword:3 d printing, extruder, plastic industry, thin film
Introduction:3 d printing not only in the efforts to enter the mainstream application on earth, but from the earth into outer space.The astronauts are the internat...


3 d printing not only in the efforts to enter the mainstream application on earth, but from the earth into outer space.
is the international space station astronauts lifted a 3 d printing storm.If the American space agency NASA to add manufacturing project goes as planned, it won't be long before, can achieve more complex than manufacturing wrench with spare parts in space better production.

& have spentPlastic manufacturing into outer space
3 d printing in the space of an object is the first 3 d printers itself a spare parts.This is an extruding machine shell, printed on the name of printer manufacturers "Made  In  Space" and NASA's logo.Then again soon for extruder shell print a piece of side panel.
NASA Niki  3 d printing project manager;Werkheiser said, print for the first time, "products need time significance, can be to get the test data."
"such things may seem dull for ordinary people. But it's the first time we have in space heating and extrusion plastic. If had been a complete failure, and print out a mess of a mass of things (we don't know), if we don't have to float in the space station tried, don't know that. The station is the only can give microgravity laboratory platform."Success since the print for the first time since November 24,
, the astronauts began to try a bigger, better and were more likely to identify objects, including a ratchet wrench.Ratchet wrench drawings were designed, in a week time into space, after agreed to spent about four hours is printed, consumables is ABS 7006 filament.This is for NASA's on-demand a true test of 3 d printing capacity.
3 d printing project is a NASA and california-based Made In Space company signed a $1.4 million contract small business innovation research and development plan, the first stage is to test the astronauts in microgravity environment feasibility of production for parts and tools.
take add manufacturing technology into a space will eventually can minimize carry spare parts and tools from earth into space, saving the cost of high space carrier ($10000 \/ kg), and promote self-sufficiency ability of the station.This stage of print specimen, parts and tools will be back to the earth, with the ground with the same printer to print compared to the same kind of thing to do.
werkheiser said: "we will put all the samples back to earth, compared with the reference substance. We will also through the video to do preliminary analysis. We found that the surface area of the larger components, it's not easy to remove. We need to study whether this is really caused by microgravity. While also have this situation on the ground, but the frequency is higher in orbit."
, he points out, although a printer to produce is the same, but after launch and microgravity may change."Adhesion is undoubtedly one of our problems."Compared to
in addition to print, print parts in space with tensile strength with flexibility, torque test.Test results will be given to Made In Space, improve its next generation of microgravity 3 d printers, is expected to be delivered earlier this year.
the project there are a lot of other things to do next."Add manufacturing equipment" (abbreviated as AMF) has been put into development, give to the next generation of 3 d printers on the space station will be Made In Space according to the numerous users experience the lessons and the production of commercial printer.
werkheiser in describing the space of national laboratory, said: "this will be their own printers, but NASA will become one of their customers. Any other entity, colleges and universities, industry, anyone on the ground, will be able to obtain in the experience of 3 d printing in the space station."
made & have spentIn Space company, the metaphor of "permanent production workshop" in Space.
he said: "of course it will be used for the astronauts, used for experimental purposes. But Made  in  Space company will also launch a commercial version. Anyone want to do experiments in the Space station can join the queue."
werkheiser, said the new system is better than the original 3 d printer is bigger, the size of microwave oven will also have the ability to more material and most likely from the PEEK with Ultem start, thanks to its high strength, high security rating with excellent thermal properties.
she said: "Ultem has been used in the production of various kinds of extravehicular activity or spacewalk tools. Although the quality of the print in space there are unaware, but until now all is well."
other projects
take more powerful printers to never there is printer footprint, this is not Made In All work with NASA Space company.In
& have spentIn early 2014, the United States government has signed two contracts, each worth $125000, parties Made  respectively;In Space with Washington Tethers Unlimited Inc., a company, its purpose is to develop a regeneration machine, recovery of 3 d printing plastic or other plastic, and its regeneration become available raw materials.Werkheiser, said the plan to put in 2016 a regeneration technology demonstration machine into space.
she said: "the two companies have regeneration machine produced, and not the same as on the ground for the filament material regeneration."
the plan aims to promote can keep the development ability, the packaging materials, such as foam, film bag with bubble paper into reusable materials or use of 3 d printing materials, reduce the demand and supply to the greatest extent.
lowery with Made In Space for the ABS R3 - DO tight-lipped about the details of the regeneration system, but its enthusiasm attitude shows.
he said: "this is done to optimize an important measure to improve resource utilization. If 3 d printers to become standard in space, combining materials regeneration, is expected to be completed in space can keep the development, and in the very great degree increase."
tethers & have spentUnlimited company has announced plans for its space regeneration Positrusion, also make a vision for the ground application.Wrote in
, the company in the previous year's project proposal: "the proposed will develop a filament extrusion machine, adopted new extrusion technology, called Positrusion design on the ground, can be directly used to arbitrary shape & have spent ABS plastic waste optimization control in the production of small batch is round filament, at the same time meet the requirements of the operation of the station. This machine first dry feed and degassing, then melt with extrusion through the die and the cross-sectional size and feed rate of cooling extrusion profiles will through continuous simulation to strictly control the closed die."
"Positrusion process does not use in high production industrial USES, but growing in the home to office with a 3 d printer users will have a very big part of interest, can help them to effectively implement independent 3 d printer material regeneration."
plastic problems of earth, columns such as closed loop production, is likely to find a solution in the space.
NASA\/Made In Space cooperation projects in the next one of the biggest problems facing the Space 3 d printing, with the ground to the designer the problems are at opposite poles.
no move up and down in the international space station, four walls are able to use.
werkheiser said: "if you use four print tray will happen in all four directions printed? Microgravity environment can eliminate side whipstitch with depression produced by printing under gravity?"& have spent"Think we can design the gravity in microgravity environment can't imagine it's very interesting to new things."
, she says, but it need to change train of thought, the designers to find out what must be added, to eliminate unwanted design elements.
she said: "in addition to the technology itself, we are building new designers and developers group is also very interested."
NASA will put the items designed for the space of public give CAD file, let every man on earth can 3 d print them on its own.
werkheiser said: "I don't think we will overturn the entire concept of 3 d printing, but make it more suitable to use in a Gao Youhua, recurring technology point of view, there is no doubt that I think we are make an important contribution."
lowery says, Made In Space is seriously considering the future development of Space ready-to-use plastic design, to the current and future plastic industry as well as a wide area.
he said: "we will deliver an unprecedented platform, the CAD software to never reach heights, and the ability to give to the general public."

Key-word:3 d printing, extruder, plastic industry, thin film