NASA is sending a 3D printer to the space station. Right now, you can make a copy of the Space Needle out of layer upon layer of extruded plastic, or a new jawbone, or a child’s toy. Soon, if an astronaut needs a very specific part, they won’t have to wait for delivery from a space ship. Made In Space Inc. has been contracted by NASA to develop a 3D printer.
Michael Chen, chief strategy officer for Made In Space Inc., explains how they're designing the new technology. The Made In Space 3D printer will be launched for another test into space on a SpaceX rocket flight next year. If it works, the printer is expected to be delivered to the International Space Station in 2015.