Making Spares - On-orbit?

New machines could turn homes into small factories, University of Bath

"A revolutionary machine which can make everything from a cup to a clarinet quickly and cheaply could be in all our homes in the next few years. Research by engineers at the University of Bath could transform the manufacture of almost all everyday household objects by allowing people to produce them in their own homes at the cost of a few pounds. The new system is based upon rapid prototype machines, which are now used to produce plastic components for industry such as vehicle parts."

Editor's note: Now if only you could get this thing to work in microgravity.

Editor's update: A NASA Watch reader informed me that NASA has indeed been looking at how to do this in space. Check out this In Situ Fabrication and Repair page at NASA MSFC. Another reader informed me that LaRC is also working on this technology (see this page) Indeed, they have a portable system that will be flying on a C-9 microgravity aircraft in August. Cool stuff.

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This page contains a single entry by Keith Cowing published on March 18, 2005 8:18 AM.

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