How 3D Printing is now helping NASA get to space

According to Makerbot, the most well known in a crop of companies developing low cost 3D printers, the technology is being used by NASA engineers to develop parts for models, including for the Mars Rover, Curiosity

In a conversation Forbes had with Makerbot CEO, Bre Pettis, he indicated that engineers from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory are using the technology as a way to create model parts faster and cheaper. According to Pettis, “JPL (Jet Propulsion Laboratory) used to send models out. They had one model they used to send out for the heat shield on Curiosity and it cost them five thousand bucks. When they had to make another one, they went out and bought a Makerbot and gave it to one of the engineers, and they just went crazy”.

Was it a one-time deal? Not according to Pettis. ”Now they’re our biggest customer.”

So while 3D printing may seem from another world, it’s not. It’s just helping us explore worlds outside our own.

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Source: Forbes.com: News

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