NASA moves to 3D printing

Invented over 30 years ago back in 19863D printing was developed only in the last decade. Now, with the help of three-dimensional printing, not only small parts are made, but also houses are built and food is “printed”. Innovative technology has attracted space engineers from NASA. It was decided to replace the existing technology of manufacturing sensors and communication nodes from modular parts to print one-piece devices.

Modern manufacturing technologyNumerous sensors for spacecraft use the traditional approach when individual parts are assembled on the board using soldering. However, a large number of connections may affect the technical parameters of the sensors, or even lead to breakage. In order to simplify the process of creating space sensors, NASA engineers in the future will use 3D printers that print complete devices using nanomaterials — graphene and carbon nanotubes.

All parts are printed directly to the board induring one technological process. The printing process will significantly reduce energy costs, increase reliability and reduce the time of manufacture of sensors. The electronic devices produced with the help of a 3D printer can be used not only in spacecraft, but also in space suits to monitor astronauts' vital signs.