Manufacturing space hardware on Earth creates fundamental limits in terms of size, cost, and capability of what we can develop for space.

Additive manufacturing (or 3D printing) in space will radically enable the space industry. Building parts, structures, and tools in space will not only reduce launch mass and size constraints, it will also enable the capability to build parts when needed, on-demand.

“The future of space exploration will change forever when everything we need for space is built in space. In this future, parts, habitats and structures are not launched and assembled, but instead 3D-printed, layer-by-layer in outer space with additive manufacturing.” – CEO, Aaron Kemmer

Today, 3D printing in space can enable the building of parts on the International Space Station – form science hardware to emergency fixes. In the future, space-based additive manufacturing will enable a variety of game-changing capabilities – from large 1 km+ megastructures that could not be launched to building entire spacecraft from asteroid materials.

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Making it Happen

While the future of space-based 3D printing has many applications, Made In Space is making actionable steps towards building this future today.

Made In Space was founded in 2010 out of Singularity University at NASA Ames when a group of 3D printing veterans (such as Autodesk Director Gonzalo Martinez and Bespoke Designs Founder Scott Summit) and Space Veterans (such as Planetary Resources President Chris Lewicki and three-time Astronaut Dan Barry) met with successful entrepreneurs (Aaron Kemmer, Jason Dunn, and Michael Chen).

Now based out of NASA Research Park the company has grown to nearly two dozen people with over 100 years in the space and 3D printing industries, with the focus of building a business around building additive manufacturing technologies for space.

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The World’s First Additive Manufacturing for Space Company

  • August 2010 – Made In Space founded
  • Spring 2011 – Build 3D Printing Lab, which has grown to house over a dozen 3D printers and multiple technologies
  • Summer 2011 – Awarded Sub-Orbital Flight via NASA’s Flight Opportunities Program
  • July – September 2011 – Three zero-gravity test flights, proving the Made In Space concept of 3D printing in microgravity.
  • December 2011 – Awarded a Phase 1 SBIR with NASA to design a 3D Printer for the ISS
  • January 2013 – Awarded a Phase 2 SBIR with NASA to build and flight qualify a production facility 3D Printer for the ISS
  • February 2013 – Awarded a Phase 3 sole source contract with NASA MSFC to fly a 3D Printing technology demonstration on the ISS in 2014
  • May 2013 – Announced 3D Print in Zero-Gravity Experiment in coordination with NASA MSFC in which the first 3D printer will be sent on the SpaceX-5 rocket to the ISS and serve as a demonstration of the technological capabilities of the unit
  •  June 2013 - MIS successfully tests 3D printer prototype on parabolic aircraft simulating microgravity
  • July 2013 - Prototype printer passes environmental tests at MSFC
  • September 2013 – MIS’s printer is approved by NASA’s Critical Design Review board
  • March 2014 – MIS’s hardware is deliver to NASA MSFC
  • May 2014 – MIS’s printer passes final qualification tests, deemed flight ready by NASA
  • Current – Preparation for launch of first MIS printer to ISS in late summer/early fall 2014
  • Learn more about the projects Made In Space is working on.

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