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Successful Completion of the First Space "3D printing" in China Reflects the Commercial Value of 3D Printers

May 10, 2020

3D printing technology embodies the commercial value of 3D printer during the epidemic, and can print medical goggle frames, masks and masks

In the critical moment, we should make great efforts to inject scientific and technological power into the war "epidemic". Before that, we printed not only the "first line of defense" of medical staff, such as goggles and masks, but also the "epidemic isolation room". Recently, 3D printing technology really flew to the sky, carrying out the 3D printing experiment of continuous fiber-reinforced composite materials in space for the first time.

Successful Completion of the First Space 3D printing in China Reflects the Commercial Value of 3D Printers-01

On the new generation of manned spacecraft test ship launched by long march 5B rocket, a "3D printer" was installed. During the flight, the system independently completed the sample printing of continuous fiber-reinforced composite materials, and verified the scientific experimental target of 3D printing of composite materials in microgravity environment.


Researchers installed the composite 3D printing system developed by our country in the test ship's return cabin. During the flight, the system independently completed the sample printing of continuous fiber-reinforced composite materials, and verified the scientific experimental goal of 3D printing of composite materials in microgravity environment. This is the first space 3D printing experiment in China and the first time in the world to carry out 3D printing experiment of continuous fiber reinforced composite materials in space. There are two objects in space 3D, one is honeycomb structure (representing lightweight structure of spacecraft), the other is CASC (China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation) logo.

Successful Completion of the First Space 3D printing in China Reflects the Commercial Value of 3D Printers-02

The continuous fiber reinforced composite material is the main material of spacecraft structure at home and abroad, which has low density and high strength. The research on 3D printing technology of composite material is of great significance for the long-term on orbit operation of space station and the development of on orbit manufacturing of space super large structure in the future.

Successful Completion of the First Space 3D printing in China Reflects the Commercial Value of 3D Printers-03

As we all know, printing in space is a very difficult task. In order to achieve the "first time in the world" 3D printing of continuous fiber composite materials in microgravity environment, three unique techniques are needed.


Unique one: Overcome weightlessness environment, not "float"

Because space is a weightless environment, astronauts will "float" in the cabin, 3D printers can never do so. Moreover, in the weightless environment, the accuracy of material forming and printing is more controlled than that of the ground.

Unique 2: the printed raw materials are very special

Carbon fiber reinforced composite is the main material of spacecraft structure at home and abroad at present. It is light in weight, strong in strength, strong in space high and low temperature environment resistance, and its space printing process is more secure and needs less space. It is one of the most promising materials for space 3D printing in the future.

If you can print out carbon fiber-reinforced composite materials that meet the requirements in space, you can immediately print out what you need in space in the future.

Unique three: independent control, intelligent energy saving

In this task, the 3D printer is completely controlled by itself. In the whole process of unlocking, printing, recording, jumping, locking, etc., all operations are controlled by program without intervention, and different emergency measures and backup paths are set according to different emergencies.

China's first completion of space 3D printing is another important milestone in China's aerospace industry, as well as proof of the growing strength of China's scientific and technological forces. In the future, with the continuous development of China's space technology, there will be a larger and more advanced space 3D printing hall, which can manufacture and assemble hundreds of meters of large-scale products in space, providing continuous material supplement for long-term on orbit missions such as space station operation, manned lunar landing, Mars exploration, asteroid exploration and deep space navigation.

Sources from: https://creality3dpro.store/blogs/news