Latest in Science

Image credit:

The International Space Station is now making 3D-printed tools

Jon Fingas, @jonfingas
December 22, 2014
Share
Tweet
Share

Sponsored Links

It's official: you can "upload" tools to space. Following its earlier test run, the International Space Station has used 3D printing to make a ratchet based on instructions sent from Earth. It's not exactly a sophisticated implement, but it underscores the advantages of letting astronauts print their own gear. NASA and Made In Space (the company behind the printer) designed, tested and manufactured the ratchet in less than a week -- even if a conventional part was ready to go, it would have had to wait days or weeks for a ride on a delivery vehicle. Researchers will have to take a while studying the practicality of 3D-printed tools (including the effects of microgravity) before they're put into regular service, but it's easy to see a day where crews can always make the equipment they need.

[Image credit: NASA]

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Comment
Comments
Share
Tweet
Share

Popular on Engadget

TikTok and WeChat will be banned from US app stores on Sunday

TikTok and WeChat will be banned from US app stores on Sunday

View
The 8th-generation iPad is already $30 off at Walmart

The 8th-generation iPad is already $30 off at Walmart

View
Apex's electric supercar includes an AR race coach and partial self-driving

Apex's electric supercar includes an AR race coach and partial self-driving

View
Alphabet’s DeepMind AI is better than you at Atari games

Alphabet’s DeepMind AI is better than you at Atari games

View
How and where to pre-order a PlayStation 5

How and where to pre-order a PlayStation 5

View

From around the web

Page 1Page 1ear iconeye iconFill 23text filevr