Here at 3D Rapid Print, one of the fastest growing 3D Printing companies in the Thames Valley, we like to keep abreast of the latest innovations in 3D printing.

On August 26th 2020, KULR Technology (KULR) of San Diego, California announced that they had been contracted by NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Centre of Huntsville, Alabama to help NASA develop 3D printed battery systems for unspecified space applications. (KULR are a self-proclaimed “develops, manufactures and licenses next-generation carbon fiber thermal management technologies for batteries and electronic systems” company.) NASA had previously used KULR’s technology in storage bags to experiment with protecting laptop batteries stored on the International Space Station (ISS) circa September 2019.

Here, NASA hired Leidos of Reston, Virginia to improve what KULR referred to as “capabilities for cargo planning, processes and packing that provide the ISS with cost-effective solutions in a dynamic and challenging operating environment.” (Leidos is an aviation, biomedical research, defence and information technology company.) As part of this, Leidos supplied NASA with KULR’s so-called “Thermal Runaway Shield” (TRS). (Here, thermal runaway refers to a battery overheating and potentially exploding.) KULR claimed that until it had demonstrated the usefulness of its TRS, empty bags had to be placed between occupied bags to reduce the heat other occupied bags absorbed.

Previous instances of 3D printing going out of this world include NASA’s intended use of 3D printed parts on its Orion spacecraft, which would mark the first time that 3D printing would be brought to an American-led, manned spaceflight. As another example, the ISS got its own 3D printer in November 2014 to investigate the practicability of astronauts manufacturing their own tools.

3D printing is an amazing tool. It can grow your small business or start a mini revolution in an industry. Explore what it can do for you when you contact us today.

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