Science fiction has often portrayed a future in which humanity has populated the cosmos and is living and working in space. While we haven’t quite realized those visions, the technology to do so is currently being developed by inventors, organizations, and private companies. The installation of two 3D printers on the International Space Station (ISS), for instance, will make it possible to 3D print and assemble, in space, large-scale structures, such as space-based solar power satellites and even spacecraft capable of deploying mobile 3D printers that can construct habitats in space, on the Moon or on Mars.
The National Space Society’s Enterprise In Space program has teamed up with Made In Space, Kepler Space Institute, Sketchfab, 3D Hubs and Prairie Nanotechnology to advance the state of the art in additive manufacturing in space. Our Print The Future contest will allow you to send your 3D design to the International Space Station, where you will have your space-manufactured item returned to Earth. We want to make those sci-fi visions a reality and we need your help to do it. We’ve recently launched Print the Future, a competition that invites university through postgraduate student teams to design projects that will further humanity’s presence in space. The winning team will be able to 3D print its design aboard the International Space Station, though there are a whole host of prizes for the winners, finalists, and, actually, everyone who enters! The deadline for entry is approaching quite quickly which is February 15th. For more information about how to enter, please go to: https://www.enterpriseinspace.org/print-the-future/