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Space-X and 3D Printing Enabling Real Life Star Trek

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posted on Nov, 19 2014 @ 10:06 PM
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Just about all of us have seen this scene:



In many ways modern 3D printing technology is like the ancestor of the 23rd century replicator pictured above however it is rapidly developing and already being used to further humanity's real star trek.

What we know about planning missions to space (human and robotic) as well as living there is rapidly changing thanks to 3D printing.

Did you know:

That 3D Printed Rocket Engines have been made?

That Space-X developed a 3D printed engine?

A second generation of 3D Printers specifically for space are being developed

That Titanium has been 3D Printed?

That Food has been 3D Printed and NASA is looking at doing it on deep space missions?

That a 3D Printer is now on the International Space Station?

That a fully 3D Printed Spacecraft is in development and a 3D printed Moonbase is envisioned by the European Space Agency?

That Asteroid mining by Seattle-based Planetary Resources, Inc will be done by 3D Printed robotic miners?

That future space colonies will "live off the land" by converting raw materials into 3D printed goods?

That Space based 3D printed gemstones and jewelry may be sent back to Earth and eventually a whole space based 3D printed economy may take root?

If any of the above is news to you have a listen to this edition of the excellent AstronomyCast podcast to hear about the exciting developments.

Perhaps the scene above will happen in less than 300 years. At the rate things are going, you can bank on it.

Now pardon me as I go have a non 3D cup of tea, Earl Grey, hot of course.

edit on 19-11-2014 by JadeStar because: (no reason given)




posted on Nov, 19 2014 @ 10:14 PM
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I expect we will come to despise fake, 3D printed items the same way we do with cheap Chinese knock-offs.

Craftsmanship will be the elusive quality we'll crave.



posted on Nov, 19 2014 @ 10:17 PM
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I hope so. Although I can't begin to understand the implications on the workforce this technology will cause. That is a different subject all together though. Personally I like the 3d printing done medically.
3-D-printed organs are on the way



posted on Nov, 19 2014 @ 10:20 PM
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I've thought that the best way to set up a base in a harsh environment (i.e. another planet) would be to send ahead a landing party consisting only of self-building robots (they have those!), 3-D printers and materials, and bio-stuffs the robotics could plant, along with the lander itself being the core for both energy production and life-support machinery.
In essence, a robotic system would print out a bio-dome and have it sealed, functional and stocked with food and growing hydroponics prior to us humans ever arriving.

Cool thread! Thanks for the links!

- AB



posted on Nov, 19 2014 @ 10:23 PM
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I have read scientist state this concept exactly. It just bores me. I want the Star Trek team to do the work. Either way the cosmos will always excite me. a reply to: AboveBoard



posted on Nov, 19 2014 @ 10:38 PM
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Thanks for this, Jade. SnF!



posted on Nov, 19 2014 @ 10:38 PM
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There are problems with equating this to star trek technology.

For instance the food. It's not making food. it's rearranging it. The problem for NASA is storage space, where currently it takes up a lot of space with pre-packaged MREs. So if it was all one block of gunk, .. well the only difference is it would look different.

it's not as if they're going to be printing out steaks and roast lamb or ice cream and strawberries.

Everything that we currently print is printer with the end result material. When we can take something and break it down to the atomic level and rearrange it into something else, then we're getting there.



posted on Nov, 19 2014 @ 11:08 PM
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originally posted by: sn0rch
There are problems with equating this to star trek technology.

For instance the food. It's not making food. it's rearranging it. The problem for NASA is storage space, where currently it takes up a lot of space with pre-packaged MREs. So if it was all one block of gunk, .. well the only difference is it would look different.


Ah but what about lab grown meat?

Also Bigelow Aerospace's modules will solve the storage space problem and Bigelow signed a contract with NASA to provide them with their inflatable modules.


it's not as if they're going to be printing out steaks and roast lamb or ice cream and strawberries.


Not right away but you have to start somewhere so how about a hamburger?




edit on 19-11-2014 by JadeStar because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 20 2014 @ 05:05 AM
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To start things off, awesome Post, S+F!

As a Sci-Fi fan, I just can't get enough of messages like this....


I find it fascinating, that we might actually see deep-space travel (and everything that goes with it) during our lifetimes, every Trekkie's dream-come-true!



posted on Nov, 20 2014 @ 06:58 AM
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Very very very interesting. If everyone will refer back to one of my precious posts. which I cant actually find at the moment to link to, this could be the answer I have been looking for. As I have posted before I am training in the aerospace industry.

This could be very useful indeed.



posted on Nov, 20 2014 @ 07:16 AM
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originally posted by: Psynic
I expect we will come to despise fake, 3D printed items the same way we do with cheap Chinese knock-offs.

Craftsmanship will be the elusive quality we'll crave.


3-D printing is WAY more efficient way to build things. When you 3-D print something, it is an additive building process. The traditional way to build things is a subtractive process. The difference here is that 3-D printing builds the object layer by layer without wasting materials. When you build things traditionally, you take a block of something and start removing pieces until it looks like what you want it to look like. This creates waste.

Why would people desire something that creates waste/garbage? I understand the conservative desire to like tradition, but 3-D printing is a FAR more superior way to build things. Eventually, as the technology improves, we'll probably be able to 3-D print things with better quality than we could build by hand.



posted on Nov, 20 2014 @ 07:32 AM
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Very interesting, and of course very cool.

However, don't know if I'd compare it to the Star Trek replicators.

Basis of the replicators is to take energy and turn it into matter, where as a 3D printer is taking matter and simply shaping it into another piece of matter.

There is actually a whole wiki article on this:

Star Trek Replicator

Interestingly enough, while looking through the wiki article, turns out Nestle is actually looking into this!

Nestle Planes To Create 'Star Trek-Like Food Replicator'



posted on Nov, 20 2014 @ 07:54 AM
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This is going to be the Napster of the future. Also, wonder how long until we find out that the materials used in 3D printing cause cancer. Everything else does.



posted on Nov, 21 2014 @ 09:33 AM
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a reply to: Charizard

Lol ur too cynical, they just print the damn material! 2D ink based printers use ink that is far more carconogenic than any 3D printed technology is likely to be. Do you know how dangerous your receipts are???



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