nano3Dprint and Finite Space to advance off-earth Additive Manufacturing

May 19, 2023

May 19, 2023

The partnership combines plans to produce a moon rover, additional rover parts and other tools for the space exploration team using additive manufacturing (Courtesy Finite Space)
The partnership combines plans to produce a moon rover, additional rover parts and other tools for the space exploration team (Courtesy Finite Space)

nano3Dprint, Burlingame, California, USA, has announced a partnership with Finite Space, a Germany-based company that aims to enhance material usage and manufacturing processes in space to enable the establishment of self-sustainable off-Earth colonies.

The partnership combines nano3Dprint’s technology and AM expertise with Finite Space’s goal of building a sustainable lunar economy. Utilising nano3Dprint’s A2200 3D Multi-material Electronics Printer, Finite Space plans to produce a moon rover, additional rover parts and other tools for the space exploration team.

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“nano3Dprint is the most flexible electronics 3D printing solution,” stated Tobias Patzer, Finite Space’s Chief Technology Officer. “We saw that NASA had published research demonstrating advancements made with nano3Dprint printers, making the company a natural choice for this collaboration.”

The project’s first phase involves the Additive Manufacturing of a rover that will measure just over 90 cm (3 ft) long and utilise metals, silicon and recycled plastics, all of which it says can be sourced on the moon.

“A key capability of the A2200 is the flexibility we have in material choice and quality,” said Patzer. For example, the demo design will include a cargo bay and tool slot, which could be integrated with a plough, drill or robotic manipulator. Additional capabilities will be added as the project progresses.

Said to be about the size of a microwave oven, the A2200 Additive Manufacturing machine can be transported to space and used to quickly produce tools and other parts on-demand. Further, the use of a space-based AM machine, as opposed to producing parts on Earth and transporting them to space, reduces the need for resupply missions and the quantity of supplies necessary for astronauts to transport into space on launch missions.

Ramsey Stevens, nano3Dprint CEO, commented on the importance of space exploration: “We need space [technology] for daily life; we rely on it for GPS, weather forecasts, satellite images and more. Continuing space exploration provides invaluable guidance for researchers and scientists to identify new resources and expand their understanding of the solar system. We look forward to seeing how Finite Space will further space exploration with the utilisation of this new rover.”

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May 19, 2023

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