13 May 2016 Design for an in-space 3D printer
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Abstract
This paper presents a space mission enablement and cost reduction technology: in-space 3D printing. Using in-space 3D printing, spacecraft can be lighter, require less launch volume and be designed solely for orbital operations. The proposed technology, which supports various thermoplastics and prospectively metals, is presented in detail. Key subsystems such as the energy collection system, the melting unit, and the printing unit are explained.
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Thomas McGuire, Michael Hirsch, Michael Parsons, Skye Leake, Jeremy Straub, "Design for an in-space 3D printer", Proc. SPIE 9838, Sensors and Systems for Space Applications IX, 98380V (13 May 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2223536; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2223536
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