NASA Wrench by Made in Space

First tool ever 3D printed in space.


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It costs thousands of dollars to ship one pound of anything to space. What if instead of shipping spare parts and tools, you just ship a printer, then print tools and parts on demand? (And customize them as needed?) This is one of the coolest use-case scenarios of 3D printing. This wrench was the first tool printed in outer space, printed by Barry "Butch" Willmore in 2014. The Navy is exploring 3D printing in similar ways because ships at sea face similar challenges to those in space.

Materials and methods

I printed this on an Ultimaker 2+ in PLA. I used "Fast Print" settings, but bumped the density up slightly to 25%. I also printed with brim, which I think was helpful. (Layer .15, Wall .7, top/bottom thickness .75, nozzle .4) After breaking the mechanism free of the brim, the wrench ratchets well. Nice job, Made in Space / NASA!



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C3eb9bb6dde29c79ec65ebdf805ac8e9?default=blank&size=40cwalker74 added this to the Things to Make collection ago
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F4b952649f8547c67b43d41985b90892?default=blank&size=40danmar commented ago

In space, can you print without supports? πŸ˜πŸ€”πŸ€“

Mini 20150127 093625RCCM published this design ago