The future of 3-D printing is out of this world — literally. Made In Space is a one-of-a-kind start-up whose business goal is as clear as its name. When astronauts need tools in space, they often have to wait months for something as simple as a socket wrench to reach them. Using 3-D printing, however, Made In Space can give astronauts the tools to make those items right then and there.
Because each 3-D printed material layer is fraction of a millimeter thick, the machine must make extremely precise movements. Made In Space also must adapt their products to account for thermal control because there is no natural convection and no buoyancy in zero gravity.
In the long run, Made In Space aims to not only make new products in space, but use all materials already available in space as well. A few years ago, they began developing a way to recycle the plastic left in space by previous missions and turn it into the filament that goes into the 3-D printer. This company proves the sky's the limit … when your 3-D printer is in it.