American space agency NASA has designs on a 3D food printer but that doesn’t mean that they’re ignoring more conventional 3D printing technology. In 2014 NASA will be shipping a custom-designed 3D printer to the International Space Station, where it will be used to create spare parts and other odds and ends that the astronauts up in orbit need.
The printer, a joint effort between NASA and a company called Made in Space, still has to undergo one more test before it can be lofted into orbit. It has already completed three sub-orbital tests but it still has one more examination to go before it can be sent to the ISS.
The eventual goal is to outfit teams who are headed to the Moon and Mars with 3D printers, so that they can create items that they require instead of having to haul it along with them. The International Space Station test is just the first step in making sure that space explorers can be more self-sufficient.
Source: The Verge