Studies into Additive Manufacturing for In-Space Manufacturing
Published June 26, 2017 by SAE International in United States
NASA has embarked on an ambitious program to integrate additive manufacturing techniques and to develop processes for the microgravity environment. The most recent example of this program is the successful launch and deployment of the first 3D printer on the International Space Station. In this one-year effort, students were required to meet a series of milestones to design, manufacture, and test their ideas in close cooperation with members of the NASA Exploration Augmentation Module (EAM) concept team.The participants in this project were tasked with thinking of new solutions using AM that would simultaneously be recyclable with minimal loss in mechanical properties but also have the capacity for high mechanical properties. Working in interdisciplinary teams, the participant teams investigated the use of recycled materials, characterization, testing, modeling, and tool development. The underlying philosophy adopted in these papers is the ability to use a strut-and-tie approach that integrates reusable carbon-fiber tension ties for tension zones.The results of this project encompass a series of nterconnected studies exploring the issues surrounding 3D printing in a space environment.