Broadcast 2339 (Special Edition)

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Guest: Mike Snyder. Topics: 3D printing in space and on the Made In Space 3D printer on the ISS. Please direct all comments and questions regarding Space Show programs/guest(s) to the Space Show blog, Comments and questions should be relevant to the specific Space Show program. Written Transcripts of Space Show programs are a violation of our copyright and are not permitted without prior written consent, even if for your own use. We do not permit the commercial use of Space Show programs or any part thereof, nor do we permit editing, YouTube clips, or clips placed on other private channels & websites. Space Show programs can be quoted, but the quote must be cited or referenced using the proper citation format. Contact The Space Show for further information. In addition, please remember that your Amazon purchases can help support The Space Show/OGLF. See For those listening to archives using and rating the programs, please email me as to why you assign a specific rating to the show. This will help me bring better programming to the audience. We welcomed Mike Snyder, Director of R&D for Made In Space, to the show to discuss 3D printing in space and their printer now on the ISS. For more information, visit the Made In Space website, Please note that at times the cell phone audio with our guest was less than clear. I apologize for these issues but cell phones are often a problem with broadcast equipment, even on mainstream AM talk radio programs. During the first segment of our 1 hour 28 minute program, Mike introduced us to the company Made In Space, 3D printing and additive manufacturing. He talked about the testing they did with their printer before it was actually launched to the ISS, said the main unit weighed about 12 kilos and consumed 300 watts of power. ABS plastic comprised the raw material for the printer. He also described the type of objects that this printer would be printing on station. Listener Ben asked Mike for mass comparisons with the 3D raw materials as compared to having spare parts on board the ISS. Mike said in the future they would be recycling printer parts as new feedstock so to speak and that would make printing in space much more economic. Listeners asked him to describe the design and printing process for the ISS printer, who was designated to work it on board and where was the printer located on the ISS. Listener Beth emailed in a question asking our guest to explain additive manufacturing. Doug sent in a set of questions ranging from "if 3D printers could print body parts, could it be used to produce an endless supply of clones to take over this part of the galaxy? to "if 3D printers could take planetary material and reproduce their own parts, might they get out of control and convert the solar system into 3D printers? This would either result in the extinction of humanity or be the basis of a really cool movie...not sure which." Our guest said that 3D printers were not being made with the "self-awareness chip." Other listener questions wanted to know about printing fuel, surgical tools as well as body replacement parts and even if someday space tourists might have their own personal printers to make souvenirs on their flights. In the second segment, Marshall called to talk about bandwidth issues, storing data for the printer onboard or beaming it to the printer using up precious bandwidth. Mike spoke more about the recycler planned for the future, then he was asked if a 3D printer in space could be hacked and taken over by others. He talked about the control process and oversight by NASA & others to secure control of the printer. Randy asked how their printer got to space. It went up on the recent Dragon flight. Near the end of the program, I asked Mike for the biggest challenges and limitations facing 3D printing in space. His response surprised me. See what you think when you hear what Mike thought the biggest challenge would be going forward with 3D printing in space. Doug called before the end of the show to talk about mass & additive manufacturing, plus future metal printing in space. As we neared the end of the program, Mike talked about how 3D printing could open the door for BLEO space travel by solving much of the spare parts issue. He left us with important closing comments. Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog above. You can reach Mike through the Made In Space website or me.



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19 Oct 2014 Mike Snyder
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