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This Is How NASA Will 3D Print in Space

NASA recently announced that it plans to take a 3D printer into space in 2014—and now it wants you to see how it will work.

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This video—complete with some awful music—shows off how astronauts will soon be able to print objects as they orbit Earth. Or, as astronaut Timothy Creamer puts it, how it will enable "Star Trek replication right there on the spot." Ahem.

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The idea is to enable the astronauts aboard the ISS to manufacture equipment and spare parts to demand. NASA will be able to provide stacks of digital blueprints or even upload them from the ground, before the space station crew set to work with the printer, which was recently verified for use in zero-G. It's not clear whether they'll be making pizza with it not, though.

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DISCUSSION

They talk about the savings regarding bringing all the extra mass up for replacement parts...

You have to bring more mass up with this. The printer, PLUS all the plastic. ALL the plastic. The plastic you use, and the plastic that's wasted in the process.

Not sure how much of a 'weight savings' they're anticipating.

We should find a way to use human waste as a main ingredient.