3D printers are gaining popularity these days as the technology matures. Often compared to fictional Star Trek “replicators”, 3D printers can spit out functional parts made from ABS or other materials. A new milestone has been achieved where small tools were printed in near zero-gravity conditions.
According to a recent article, Made in Space, a 3D printing company, successfully carried out proof of concept tests in near-zero-gravity. During several high-altitude partial gravity simulation flights with NASA, Made in Space printed off scaled-down wrenches.
3D printing has been on the rise in recent years, in both industry and among hobbyists. Printed wrenches aren’t anything new – I remember receiving a rapid prototype ABS adjustable wrench about 6 years ago, maybe even earlier. But the manufacturing technology is advancing with great momentum, and it won’t be long before the gap between amateur and professional machines closes further.