Space & the Supply Chain

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_hm
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Why not use for earth too?
_hm   7/25/2014 4:43:45 PM
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Idea looks attractive. Why restrict it to space? We can also use it for earth.

Ariella
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Re: Why not use for earth too?
Ariella   7/25/2014 5:30:01 PM
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@_hm I'm sure that there are some similar looking models on earth, as terrestial models are one the resources MIT drew on in making a plan.  

tech4people
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Will the Tools created with 3D Printing Be Robust and be able to withstand the Rigours of Space?
tech4people   7/26/2014 1:08:44 PM
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Ariella,

Wanting to do everything with 3D Printing is all well and good but anyone who has experimented with 3D Printing for any point of time will tell you that there are serious Reliability Issues involved with the Products Generated by 3D printing at this point of time.

I don't think we are quite ready for Primetime (in Space) with 3D Printing.

After all the room for Error in Space is much-much less than on earth.

Please do correct me if I am wrong here.

Regards

Ashish.

TaimoorZ
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Potential Issues
TaimoorZ   7/26/2014 1:17:23 PM
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Theoretically it seems like a novel idea and something that would indeed solve major problems for astronauts. However, I think there will also be potential issues surrounding it. One of the issues I can think of would be related to power consumption and how to ensure that the printer is efficient in terms of consuming the power and, if possible, generating it on its own.

Adeniji Kayode
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Re: Why not use for earth too?
Adeniji Kayode   7/26/2014 3:15:21 PM
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Well, while there are still more to be discovered on earth and about earth, I think the earth is congested already. Its in man's nature to explore and the space is the next.

Adeniji Kayode
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Re: Potential Issues
Adeniji Kayode   7/26/2014 3:18:49 PM
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Obviously, the printer would be solar powered.

TaimoorZ
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Re: Will the Tools created with 3D Printing Be Robust and be able to withstand the Rigours of Space?
TaimoorZ   7/26/2014 7:55:56 PM
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@Ashish: I agree with you on this aspect. The room for error is very negligible when it comes to a 3D printing machine in space that has to produce everything the astronauts need. I think you do need some backup option in this case, particularly when the technology is not very mature yet.

TaimoorZ
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Re: Potential Issues
TaimoorZ   7/26/2014 8:20:59 PM
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@Adeniji: I don't think solar power can purely be relied on. It may require some form of a backup power generation medium.

Ariella
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Re: Will the Tools created with 3D Printing Be Robust and be able to withstand the Rigours of Space?
Ariella   7/26/2014 10:09:15 PM
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@Ashish I'm working on another blog (not for this board) that focuses on 3D printing in space. You're right that we're not there yet. There have been experiements on earth, and the next step is to actually bring the printer into space, something that is scheduled to happen in the very near future. I don't want to give away too many spoilers.

Ariella
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Re: Potential Issues
Ariella   7/26/2014 10:10:31 PM
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@Taimoor excellent question. It's something that also applies to extended space travel in general. Perhaps there are ways to harvest solar power the way some satellites do, but I'd have to check to ascertain if there is such a plan in place. 

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