Jan 9, 2016

Planetary Resources 3D prints with real asteroid sourced metal

Planetary Resources is one of the companies who want to mine asteroids for metals and work in the asteroid belt. They will need to work with materials they find there to produce machinery and structures in space.

To develop this technology they have partnered up with 3D Systems to produce a 3d printed metal part with materials for an actual asteroid that hit the Earth. 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. The machine used to print it was the new 3d Systems ProX DMP 320.

As you can see the object has complex geometry and is simillar to support structures used in satellites.

Here is a detailed video about manufacturing in space and asteroid mining technology:

You can watch an interview with Chris Lewicki, president and CEO of Planetary Resources here:


... and more detailed Engadget post:


If you want to learn more about the company check out their cool mission video:

Company homepage on the project: