ESA launches first metal 3D printer at ISS

Metal 3D printing will soon take place in orbit for the first time. A pioneering European-made metal 3D printer is on its way to the International Space Station on the Cygnus NG-20 resupply mission which launched recently.
Once arrived at the International Space Station, ESA astronaut Andreas Mogensen will prepare and install the approximately 180 kg Metal 3D printer in the European Draw Rack Mark II in ESA’s Columbus module. After installation, the printer will be controlled and monitored from Earth, so the printing can take place without Andreas’s oversight.
The Metal 3D Printer technology demonstrator has been developed by an industrial team led by Airbus Defence and Space SAS under contract to ESA’s Directorate of Human and Robotic Exploration.
The printer will be printing using a type of stainless-steel commonly used in medical implants and water treatment due to its good resistance to corrosion.

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