Girls in STEM

Update: Spotlight School Success

Update: Spotlight School Success

SUCCESS! Since electing Liberty Elementary School as our Spotlight School, we have come to adore the Liberty family more and more each day.  T

News and Insight

Search articles, videos and updates on 3D Printing and its growing presence in our world

Girls in STEM

WATCH: Ms. Houck's TEACHER FEATURE

WATCH: Ms. Houck's TEACHER FEATURE

This week, we bring you a short video on a STEM'tastic educator! Scroll down to WATCH this educator doing what she does best - teachi

Videos

Cool Vid: 3D Printing for K-12 Education

Cool Vid: 3D Printing for K-12 Education

Watching super cool EDUCATIONAL videos from across the web is one of our favorite pastimes! Join us in learning more about 3D printing in the clas

Science and Math

'Tis the Season for STEM

'Tis the Season for STEM

'Tis the season for GINGERBREAD and working the delicious treat into your family - and CLASSROOM - fun. Last week, as students across the

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In the future aerospace 3D printing used for asteroid mining

By Staff Writter

In the future aerospace 3D printing used for asteroid mining

Science and Math

Deep Space Industries is a company that proposes to conduct asteroid mining operations. Like its main competitor, Planetary Resources, aerospace 3d printing is a large part of the technology that will drive the development of its prospecting spacecraft. However it has added a 3d printing device that it calls the Microgravity Foundry that will combine asteroid mining with in-space manufacturing.

Asteroid miners face a number of problems. They not only have to extract useful materials from rocks that are hurtling around the sun at unimaginable speeds, but they have to transport those materials to some place where they can be turned into useful products.

The way it would work is that when an asteroid harvester extracts material such as nickel, iron, or other material from an asteroid, the microgravity foundry would use 3d printing technology to turn them into useful products. These would include spare parts for spacecraft, space stations, and satellites, tools to create space habitats, and so on.

The idea is that the more things that can be made in space, the fewer that has to be launched from Earth at great cost. Deep Space Industries believes that a market will, sooner or later, exist for finished products that can be made in space from asteroid materials.

3d printing enables rapid prototyping and relatively quick methods of manufacturing. A customer of Deep Space Industries could order a consignment of – say – spare parts for a deep space vessel even while an asteroid is being mined. The company can program, its Microgravity Foundry to produce the parts and then deliver them once they are printed out.

The company, by the way, also proposes a propellant refinery that would use water extracted from an asteroid and split it into liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen, in effect creating rocket fuel on site.