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17

Most likely, the 3D-printers used on ISS does not incorporate some fundamental difference that allow them to print in zero gravity. Some people over at 3Dprint.com raised a very similar question, and figured that when turning their 3D-printer upside down and on it's side: there’s not really much difference at all. It’s quite interesting to see how the ...


8

To answer your question, you have to consider how the melted filament sticks to the print bed and to other layers, and if gravity has any affect on how it sticks. The answer is that gravity does not have any real affect on the stick-to-itivity of the filament. Instead, the plastic bonds to the print bed surface, and then subsequent layers fuse with the ...


6

The first big space-specific issue is actually air quality. You can't just open a window to air out the molten-ABS smell from the ISS! FFF printers put out fumes and nanoparticles. In a space station, the same air gets recycled over and over, and the air purification systems have a specific set of contaminants that they are optimized for, as well as a ...


3

Can 3D printing be used for this task to make the repair any easier or more successful to complete than simply cutting a piece of plastic and (again, somehow) affixing it to the shelf? Yes. 3D printed parts can be plenty strong enough to handle the kind of load you're considering. You'll need to create a 3D model of the part you want it a CAD program, which ...


2

I would think it's definitely possible, steel 3D printers are most likely capable of printing with the kind of precision you need (I've had experience designing and printing barrels for handguns as part of a forensic science research project), but be aware that with most processes I'm aware of, you'll need to go in post-production and do some polishing or ...


2

This depends primarily on economics and on desired lifetime. Rather obviously you need a material whose strengths and melting points exceed the operational specs. Determining the various break strengths (shear, bending, etc) is an engineering problem, not a manufacturing problem per se. Next, consider the production time and cost of 3D-printing vs. some ...


2

Cool Idea. I know using a projector sounds like solution; but, I in practice, think it is going to be difficult. My concern with trying to use a projector would be two-fold. It would have to project on a large flat surface. Since basic optics wants to focus on a sphere, when projecting on a flat surface you have to adjust for a focus distance that ...


2

You ask some very interesting questions! Firstly, when researching topics such as this, you will have far more luck using 'additive manufacturing' as a search term rather than '3D printing'. In the professional industrial environment, '3D printing' is not a term that is really used to describe the manufacturing you are talking about. Selective laser melting ...


1

This is one of those tricky problems where the form of the repair and the materials that you need have to go hand in hand - you need a way to fix the new rail to the shelf and you need the repair to be strong enough to do it’s job. Perhaps consider screwing the rail to the shelf - cyanoacrylate adhesive is good for 3D prints but doesn’t like low ...


1

Some companies are already on the move with this idea. I think I remember hearing that Pratt and Whitney and Boeing are 3D printing some of the smaller air foils. The advantages being that they can achieve manufacturing of more complex, more efficient parts without the hassle of quality control, expensive fixturing/maintenance, and less hands on their ...


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