1. I’m not totally sold on all this 3D printing stuff. Ok, so they were missing a wrench on the space station but you still need to have the raw material available on the space station to make the wrench plus you need to pack the 3D printing machine itself. In an environment of presumably limited resources (like a space station) why not just pack the wrench to begin with?

    But yeah, ok, let’s say we’re not on a space station but maybe a resource rich asteroid with all the raw material available that you could possibly want. Fine, but it still seems silly to me that the people back at NASA hq would have a better idea of the necessary wrench design than the astronauts themselves so what’s the point of “emailing” it? Whole thing just seems like a bit of theatre to me.

    1. When you speak of ‘raw material’ are you assuming that the final product must be of a metal composition like a normal ratchet? If you take a look at the photo in the original article run by the Washington Post, the object the Astronaut is holding appears to be plastic.

      I’m certainly no expert on space station design by any means but I’m pretty sure if they looked hard enough they could probably find enough non-essential plastic bits and bobs on board to make up a small ratchet.


  2. Though this story comes via a New Zealand website from the Washington Post. This will be the way to go on deep space and under water missions in the future. As well as missions to remote areas here on Earth.

  3. This positively gushing “Post” article naturally neglects to remind readers of the essential role played by Russia in the space station.
    And, by implication, the fact that additive manufacturing is no monopoly of the US oligarchs.

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