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This Is The First Thing To Be 3D Printed In Space


Imagine you’re an astronaut on the International Space Station. Congratulations! Childhood-you would be so proud.

You’ve been sent a 3D printer.

So… what do you print first? A wobbly snowman ornament? Princess Bubblegum’s crown? TechCrunch editor John Biggs’ head?

Nah – this is space. If Sandra Bullock has taught me anything, it’s that space is serious business.

Here’s the first thing 3D printed in space:

print head

Wondering what the heck that thing is? Don’t worry, it’s not obvious to anyone else, either.

It’s a backup faceplate for the 3D printer’s print head — in other words, it attaches to the box that shoots the plastic filament out onto the print surface, keeping all of the various wires and sensitive bits in place.

So, no, it’s perhaps not the most exciting thing they could have printed — but holy crap, guys, we’re making things in space now.


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Library Media Specialist in a Detroit public high school.

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