Nasa wants to produce recycled filament in orbit for the ISS 3D printer

Made-in-Space-3DPSince the month of September 2014, Nasa has installed a 3D printer in the international space station. The U.S. Agency has ordered Tethers Unlimited a system to produce ABS filament in orbit.

This company produces various equipment for Nasa space missions. It created a process, called «Positrusion», that allows to produce the plastic filament from plastic waste from the station.

Multiple units of this type exist on Earth: FilaMaker, FilaBot, Recyclebot, Filastruder, FilaFab, not to mention the ongoing projects on KickStarter or Indiegogo. Tethers Unlimited is the only one to have developed a sufficiently reliable process to be able to be sent into space. Process is not an industrial process efficiency, but while each kilogram sent into orbit literally costs a fortune, 3D printing and recycling will bring Nasa still unusual flexibility in space.

Sources  :

NASA Selects TUI’s Positrusion Recycler for ISS for Phase II SBIR Award”, Tethers Unlimited release, April 16, 2015

“For Cheaper 3D Printing : A Review of Filament Recyclers”, Inside3DP, July 3, 2014

Positrusion EXPRESS locker

The Positrusion recycler of Tethers Unlimited who will be deployed in the ISS.

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