US space agency NASA is planning to launch a 3D printer into space next year to help astronauts manufacture spare parts and tools in zero gravity.
Also known as “Additive Manufacturing” 3D printers builds up objects layer by layer using polymer materials. 3D printing industry now started to uses laser-melted titanium and nickel-chromium powders to build much stronger components.
3D printing used in the space could reduce the cost and frequency of resupply missions. Additionally, NASA plans to use 3D printing to manufacture small satellites that could be launched from the International Space Station and then transmit data to earth.
In August 2013, NASA successfully tested a metal 3D printed rocket component as part of its drive to reduce the costs of space exploration.