NASA makes history with its first 3D printer for food and other models without using contending with paper jams and ink ribbons. This device is out of this world and will soon be sent to the International Space Station as an emergency components kit.
Boffins say the futuristic technology could one day even print food for hungry astronauts in space, using its three dimensional device by creating layer-upon-layer of material.
“If you want to be adaptable, you have to be able to design and manufacture on the fly, and that’s where 3D printing in space comes in,” NASA engineering boss Dave Korsmeyer said.
The technology is made by a firm called Made In Space and has has been tested in zero-gravity conditions. It will have a trial launch next year.
“Imagine an astronaut needing to make a life-or-death repair on the International Space Station,” Made In Space CEO Aaron Kemmer said. “Rather than hoping that the necessary parts and tools are on the station already, what if the parts could be 3D printed when they needed them?”
Last month Nasa successfully tested a 3D printed component in a rocket engine.
Back in May, NASA announced that it was working with Systems & Materials Research on a 3D printer that could make food. The idea was that astronauts on long trips could print their food instead of having to eat from a tube. The initial goal was to have the 3D printer make a pizza, and now we know it has achieved that goal.
KXAN, a local NBC affiliate in Austin, Texas, made a trip to the local SXSW Eco conference to see the future of sustainability. What they found was Systems & Materials Research showing off their 3D food printer that makes little pizzas using nothing but powdered ingredients and water.
The news report doesn’t go into detail on how it works, but previous reports from the makers have shown that it combines water and oil with the powdered ingredients before sending what could be classified as “food goop” onto a heated tray. The tray then heats the dough, sauce and cheese substances to create a miniature cheese pizza.