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NASA, Small Business, Advance Autonomous Metal 3D Printing in Space

Researchers are one step closer to autonomously 3D printing metals in space.

Electron Beam Freeform Fabrication, or EBF3, uses an electron beam gun, dual wire feed, and computer controls to manufacture metallic structures. In development for more than two decades, the process still relies on a human to observe and adjust the system.

Now, working through a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contract, researchers at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia, and at COSM Advanced Manufacturing Systems in Ipswich, Massachusetts, are developing sensors that could allow the system to run on its own.

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