Since a few years the NASA is experimenting with a 3D printer on-board the ISS. Now China also develops and tests a 3D printer for zero gravity printing – for now only on earth.
Through 3D printing in space different space companies hope to reduce costs. With this reduction they want to set the next steps to land on the mars or fly over very long distances.
The 3D printer developed in China has the ability to print different materials and there were also two different printing technologies tested. To simulate zero-gravity they used parabolic flights – this flights were made by ESA / DLR in France. The printer has a printing area of 220 x 140 x 150 mm that’s more than the printer user by NASA (this printer was developed as part of the Made in Space project).
But it will take some while until the first Chinese 3D printer will be tested in space because they still need more testing on earth and have to check if their materials and technical equipment can be used in space.