January 7, 2016

Planetary Resources & 3D Systems Reveal First Ever 3D Printed Object from Asteroid Metals

The future of space colonization and industrialization can now be visualized.

Planetary Resources, in collaboration with our partner 3D Systems, have developed the first ever direct metal print from asteroid metals. At the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) today in Las Vegas, NV., we unveiled the geometric object on the Engadget stage. (WATCH the full video HERE)

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This spacecraft prototype was 3D printed from an actual asteroid that was pulverized, powdered, processed then printed the new 3D Systems (NYSE: DDD) ProX DMP 320 metals 3D printer. The asteroid was melted under vacuum then gas atomized into powder by Allegheny Technologies, Inc. (ATI) at their ATI Powder Metals research facility in Pittsburgh, PA.

It is the first part ever 3D Printed with material from outer space and is reminiscent of a design that could originate from a 3D printer in the zero-gravity environment of space.

The asteroid (or meteorite) used for the print materials was sourced from the Campo Del Cielo impact near Argentina, and is composed of iron, nickel and cobalt – similar materials to refinery grade steel.