The Refabricator Will Be Recycling Plastic and 3D Printing Onboard the ISS Next Year

The Refabricator Will Be Recycling Plastic and 3D Printing Onboard the ISS Next Year

The Refabricator Will Be Recycling Plastic and 3D Printing Onboard the ISS Next Year

(3DPrint.com, 9/5/17)

In 2015, NASA awarded Washington-based technology firm Tethers Unlimited, Inc. (TUI) a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant to continue developing its Positrusion Recycler, which recycles plastic waste into 3D printable filament, for use aboard the International Space Station (ISS). NASA was pleased with the direction the technology was going, and last summer gave a Phase III SBIR to TUI division Firmamentum to create a 3D printer/recycler combo for the ISS, an experiment in closed-cycle manufacturing in outer space called the Refabricator. The machine, which is the first to combine 3D printing and recycling in one device, is about the size of a mini fridge, and is able to melt down a plastic component and print out a brand new component from the same plastic.

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