The FAA has enacted new regulations that went into effect on August 31st, 2016 for US based small unmanned aircraft systems UAS/UAV/drones over .55 pounds but under 55 pounds after what felt like a wild wild west of unclear rules awhile drones became very popular for both hobbyist and commercial companies including Autodesk for construction and reality capture technologies.
Both hobbyist and commercial pilots must be aware and follow all the new regulations for a much safer regulated US airspace. FAA Get Started Page
The new rules for non-hobbyist small unmanned aircraft (UAS) operations – Part 107 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (PDF 624 pages) – covers a broad spectrum of commercial uses for UAS. The regulations require certain restrictions on controlling the UAS and also certification of the pilot.
Remote Pilot Certification information
I Passed my Part 107 Exam!
After studying over 1230 pages of the newly required FAA Part 107, Knowledge Test Study Guide, and the Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge I have passed my FAA commercial unmanned pilots exam last week and am now a FAA licensed commercial unmanned pilot. I wont have to take the exam again for two years. It felt as if many of the same knowledge questions in the two hour FAA exam came from the manned aircraft pilot exam and covered maps, aeronautics, weather, radio, par 107t regulations, safety, and crew management.
Unmanned aircraft usage has skyrocketed literally in our airspace in recent years and expected to grow further now that the regulations to support the safe unmanned UAS in our US airspace and many look at mapping, 3D modeling, deliveries. The sky is the limit.
Fly safe and legal.
Just over a week ago I drew a Friday 8am reservation for the new iPhone and upgraded as I do for the camera and increased storage alone. The new Apple reservation process was easy as I was in and out with the new phone in 5 minutes and had the first Apple 7 Plus Black matte for the Portland store I was at. After having used the phone for just over a week I have a few personal observations.
The positives for me:
The negatives for me:
Bottom line personal opinion:
This is a great phone and while I have used many mobile platforms over the years including Blackberry, Android, and WinCE, the iPhone is still my choice until the next big thing comes along. If you re an iPhone user with a 6S you might wait for next year but if you have a iPhone 6 or older then the 7 offers enough of an improvement to upgrade.
Max Moruzzi is the senior principal research scientist in our Autodesk Research and has authored an article for Techcrunch on how smart materials will change and reshape the world for better through design. This is another remarkable glimpse at the Future of Making Things.
“The IoT may well be The Next Big Thing, but maybe the attention around sensors is misplaced…
What if we didn’t even need embedded sensors to allow things to gather data about their surrounding environment? What if material could be a sensor in and of itself?
Sentient materials might sound like the stuff of sci-fi, but it’s quickly becoming a reality. A new generation of materials is being developed that can sense temperature, pressure, impact and other variables — completely removing the need for sensors.
Not only can these materials capture and relay data to the cloud, they also can reconfigure themselves on-the-fly to react to changing environmental conditions. It’s as if materials are becoming not just smart, but “alive” — and it will change the way things are designed and used in startling ways.”
It’s as if materials are becoming not just smart, but “alive.”
The article also mentions the Hack Rod project
“The Hack Rod project — which brings technology partners together with a team of automotive enthusiasts in Southern California — is out to design the first car in history built with smart materials and engineered using artificial intelligence.”
The Oregon 2016 Tech Exec Auction just started and we have a high flying option to bid on with Autodesk Vice President Simulation, Greg Fallon. Not to be content with just another wine or brewery experience package in an auction event, Greg felt it would be unique and fun to actually involve a STEM experience and discussions with flying sUAS/UAV friendly drones and dinner. We can even capture 3D models of the terrain using Autodesk’s technology in addition to giving you some amazing photos and video of our memorable afternoon of flights even a aerial drone selfie.
Please place your bid now before the auction ends this Thursday at 5pm pacific http://bit.ly/2cL4QO5
See the other items up for auction: https://www.32auctions.com/2016TechExecAuction
This is the Technology Association of Oregon’s first annual Tech Exec Online Auction to benefit the work of STEM education programs Oregon Robotics Tournament & Outreach Program, iUrbanTeen, Portland Youth Builders, and Innovate Oregon.” This auction benefits our youth and their futures in STEM (Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) education, experience, and careers. Let me not mince words here because helping kids benefits all of our future.
This online auction will provide members of the Oregon and Southwest Washington community (and beyond) a chance to meet some of the Silicon Forest’s incredible technology executives while supporting STEM education programs in our community. I hope you will join Greg and I for an amazing day of flying and seeing our world and technology in a new way and then dinner for great food and conversation.
Please do me a personal favor and spread this message far and wide. It is all of our our responsibility to help shape the future by helping the future generations. This is how we imagine design and create a better world.
Having been involved with Autodesk betas for almost 19 years, and 5 years prior to that as a customer participating in multiple Autodesk betas I have seen a great deal of change in technology when connecting our product teams to our customers for pre-release testing. Over the years, the beta program technology has evolved from long days manually burning floppy disks and CD-ROMs and then shipping those out to people and then waiting for faxed or emailed bug reports to moving the betas to the Internet in 1998 and providing the software for download which greatly reduced not only the time to get the software to the beta tester but getting the feedback on the product such as reporting defects in online forms and discussions forums almost immediately instead of weeks later. Moving from shipping physical media not only saved time but it saved money.
More change and choice is coming with the cloud and remote hosted technologies providing exciting possibilities. Imagine clicking a link in a browser and in 30 seconds be running the latest pre-release version of Autodesk Inventor. Within Autodesk Beta we have been experimenting with several technology pilots allowing for greater flexibility, reduced risk of a beta product impacting a testers local production system, flexible platforms, and easy to install. The most recent pilot allows a beta participant to run a desktop application like AutoCAD, Inventor, and 3ds Max without installing anything and running the desktop application from a remote Frame server using only your web browser. Frame can be ran from most web browsers and we have hosted servers currently in multiple regions to provide reasonable protection from latency. When I ran a project this morning I was running at under 20ms latency from Portland to San Jose and Inventor was very usable for testing features.
Revit running in the browser from a Frame Server.
Some of the benefits:
I was even able to run Autodesk Inventor from my iPhone although not entirely practical it shows that you can run most platform that can run a web browser. Imagine running Inventor, Revit, AutoCAD, or 3ds Max from an iPad, Google Chrome book, or MacBook.
Stay tuned for more change. Change is constant in technology and life.
Autodesk has published a free new electronic book titled FOUR. Science fiction and storytelling are a great methods of delivery to convey technology and explore the possible future.
FOUR is the newest installment of stories developed by Autodesk's Strategic Futures project, where we use science fiction to explore how technology that we are working on today can and should shape the future. Storytelling has played an extremely important role in the development of human culture — since before we could even communicate through speech — yet it is still underutilized by technologists as a way to communicate new ideas.
In the words of celebrated production designer Alex McDowell: "Stories are not frivolous, they can transform how we think about the way we do our work." By taking ideas that are nearly in our grasp and creating relatable narratives from them, we hope to give both the audience and the scientists a common point by which to connect and create a shared vision of the future we can collectively build toward.
At Autodesk, we see science fiction as a powerful tool for exploring the future of design and technology as it relates to us as humans. It can provide us with a common frame of reference to collectively develop and engage with an idea. We are not trying to predict the future; rather, we seek to create a shared space with enough visual fidelity to inspire discussion on the future we want to live in and create. We can then use this vision to inform and direct the work we do today.
With that in mind, we developed FOUR, a collection of short stories written by former Autodesk summer intern,Caroline Brewer, with illustrations and concept art by Caroline and former Autodesk summer intern, Marianne Khalil, both of whom are studying illustration at the Rhode Island School of Design.
FOUR gives us a window into the four worlds of our main characters: Winnie, Ves, Shepherd, and Muchene — where each world pushes further and further out on our time horizon. Through these characters' eyes, we get a glimpse of how things like synthetic biology, generative design, deep-learning machines, and climate change might affect how we live, work, and design. – It’s Alive in the Lab
Back in May of this year I had the pleasure to be in the hot and beautiful Southern California desert at Trona Pinnacles near Death Valley with a group of engineers, scientist, champion Baja 1000 champion race drivers, car builders, mechanics, designers, cinematographers, technologists, and more for a historic off road race car project test for a generative designed car, the Hackrod. The Hackrod was designed by Autodesk Dreamcatcher using design input and performance data from many types of sensors on a test vehicle also known as the mule.
Ashlee Vance and his camera crew joined us to capture the Hackrod mule testing for Bloomberg. Check out the Bloomberg Hello World Episode 5 with other great stories and the Hackrod at 21:12 in the episode.
I captured the Trona Pinnacles unique terrain in 3D using laser scanners and photogrammetry using a aerial UAS/UAV. We will be able to use the data in a computer simulation of the Hackrod chassis on the terrain as well as analyze more vehicle response data from the sensors in relation to the terrain.
Aerial 3D Terrain Mapping with a Drone
There is so much more on the Hackrod to come as the story is just beginning and so very exciting in what it means to the transformation of the design process.
More on Generative Design from Autodesk CTO Jeff Kowalski
What if instead of using the computer to draw what you already know, you could tell the computer what you want to accomplish? Autodesk CTO Jeff Kowalski discusses the astonishing results driven by generative design. https://youtu.be/E2SxqUvtpIk
Learn more about Generative Design: http://autode.sk/GenerativeDesign
On the heels of last year’s wildly successful TV reboot of BattleBots, the world’s premier robot sporting event, bots and humans alike will assemble to watch the show’s Season 2 premiere.
Come join us at the Autodesk Gallery in San Francisco—the birthplace of robot combat—to watch the BattleBots rumble while enjoying food, drinks, robo-swag and fun activities.
You can look forward to:
Special edition t-shirts for the first 100 to arrive
Q&A with Lisa Winter and Zander Rose & Reason Bradley, builders of Mega Tento and Bronco
Special guest appearances by the creators of BattleBots, Greg Munson and Trey Roski.
Robot “petting zoo”
Red carpet photo opp with the competition bots
Drinks (open bar for big bots and juice/soda for little bots)
Build a bristlebot and race against your friends
Be prepared for some special *exclusive* content!
If you were unable to attend the Autodesk Forge Conference this week, you can still watch the keynote on YouTube. Forge is powerful set of cloud services, APIs, and resources for developers to quickly create the data-centric apps, experiences, and services that power the future of making things.
Recently I edited a 3D model and created a quick video in Autodesk ReMake (formerly Autodesk Memento.) The 3D model was generated using Autodesk ReCap 360 Pro from photos taken last month using an UAS/drone in the hot windy Trona Pinnacles near Death Valley California. The ability to create 3D textured models from aerial photos opens up many possibilities in design, construction, and site mapping. Autodesk has released specific features in ReCap 360 Pro named Fly that allow you to create point clouds, geolocated maps, incorporate ground control, and automatically create orthographic images.
Short video created by Autodesk ReMake of the model.Download Trona1aerial-720p-bk (336MB)
Autodesk has released a new eBook on the future of design.
Future of design
Smaller engineering teams have the advantage of being more agile, due to necessity. Their lack of resources require maximum efficiency. With today’s technology, these teams can leverage shared manufacturing resources like 3D print on demand and shared manufacturing facilities. The internet and secure networks make it possible to access shared engineering resources to fill whatever gaps in skills or specialties.
Integrated cloud solutions and subscription pricing models help give the smaller companies access to the high powered tools, typically only affordable to larger players with enterprise deals. Smaller companies don’t have to deal with capital expenditure that come with maintaining high end software and solutions, thus not resulting in depreciation and lower “sunk” costs. Pay-as-you-need software gives them the ability to leverage shared software resources, and lowers risk, which smaller engineering teams simply can’t afford.
Get this eBook now http://autode.sk/235n3Zv
The United States is facing an infrastructure crisis as our roads and bridges are aging and exceeding capacity.
“Last December, US Dept. of Transportation (USDOT) Secretary Foxx launched the Smart City Challenge in response to the Beyond Traffic draft report, which revealed that our nation’s aging infrastructure is not equipped to deal with a dramatically growing population in regions throughout the country.”
On Thursday, June 9 at 2:00pm ET the mayors of the seven finalist cities: Austin Texas , Columbus Ohio, Denver Colorado, Kansas City Missouri, Pittsburgh Pennsylvania, Portland Oregon, and San Francisco California with make their final pitch for why their city should be selected as the winner of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Smart City Challenge. Wi=The winning city will receive up to $50 million from the USDOT including Autodesk technology to help them design and build integrated and innovative transportation solutions in their city.
You can watch the pitches live via livestream on the web, click here to RSVP.
U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx
I have lived and worked in both San Francisco and Portland and can attest to the transportation pains in these cities. Is it selfish to hope that Portland wins and they focus the efforts on transportation improvements and road solution between my house and work and also to Portland's Eastside restaurants, music venues, and bars? Updating our aging infrastructure with the latest in design and technology solutions will help reduce wasted time, wasted fuel, pollution, and safety problems.
I wanted to share and highlight one of our amazing tech previews for Revit users that is getting great feedback in our Autodesk Feedback Community where Autodesk pre-release alpha/betas and Autodesk Labs projects are managed. Project Expo brings Revit models to life in an interactive real-time environment on desktop, mobile, the web, or VR.
“Project Expo is expected to upend the visualization world for the entire AEC industry – giving you a new tool to wow your clients and to help make informed decisions – together – in real-time. Project Expo uses the Autodesk Stingray game engine, which was released in August 2015 to incorporate a recent acquisition of a gaming engine to move Revit models to this environment via Autodesk 3ds Max rendering software. With Project Expo technology under the hood, Autodesk’s cloud platform, and a truly simple one-button rendering in Revit, what more could you ask for? The experience is immersive, real-time and far more intimate between your firm and client. “
Twenty-five year veteran architect, Heather Johnston of PLACE architect, ltd., told Autodesk that “trying to get the images that we produce to really reflect the kind of energy and spirit and quality of light and quality of experience that I can see in my mind, that’s an ongoing puzzle. That’s been a dilemma for architects since Vitruvius.”
On March 22, 2014, a large landslide in Oso, Washington killed 43 people and destroyed dozens of homes. Heavy rainfall in the previous days and weeks had saturated the soil on a hillside over State Road 530 and the Stillaguamish River. This eventually triggered the slide, burying approximately 1 acre below in 30 to 70 feet of mud, soil, and rock debris.
Shortly after the mudslide, the Field Innovation Team (FIT) sent a team to support first-responders in finding innovative solutions to expedite recovery efforts. FIT is a non-profit organization that responds to crises, and also works on disaster preparedness and disaster risk reduction. Although based in Utah, FIT has staff and volunteers across the country and around the world that can quickly respond to disasters. After the Oso mudslide, FIT used Reality Computing—capture, compute, and create—to develop and print a 3D surface model of the mudslide area, giving relief teams more understanding of the topography of the disaster.
FIT volunteers who traveled to the site began by meeting with the disaster management personnel at the local Incident Command Post (ICP) to discuss response and recovery needs and offer assistance for technology shortfalls. FIT learned that the disaster relief personnel needed better situational awareness of the mudslide terrain itself, which was partially inaccessible due to the debris piles and the flooding of the Stillaguamish River from the mudslide.
Aerial imagery of the valley from manned helicopter flights along with U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) LiDAR data could have been obtained. But helicopter flights were expensive, and obtaining the LiDAR data would take two to four days. So FIT decided that using a digital camera attached to a drone was the quickest, most efficient way to capture data of the mudslide terrain. FIT worked with ICP to have Roboticists Without Borders (RWB) perform the flights. RWB is part of Texas A&M University’s Center for Robot-Assisted Search and Rescue(CRASAR).
I was a member of this FIT Team for this disaster response in Oso Washington. Read more on how Reality Computing and innovative fast thinking using the latest in technology including UAS/ drones assisted first responders on the ground. What was amazing was we were able to use the 3D print and project up to date photos onto it using a portable handheld projector.
“Computer-gaming pioneer Arthur Samuel once defined “machine learning” as “a field of study that gives computers the ability to learn without being explicitly programmed.” But for some people, the meaning takes a negative turn—as in what happens in dystopian movies after computers have conquered humanity.
But the future of machine learning doesn’t have to be a doom-and-gloom scenario. Autodesk CTO Jeff Kowalski—who pursues innovative ideas on the horizon rather than trends of the moment—envisions a more positive outcome for humans and artificial intelligence (AI). And it’s already unfolding.”
Join Autodesk CEO and Chief Maker extraordinaire Carl Bass for a live Instructable session on how to build an autonomous go-kart at the Maker Faire Bay Area. Carl, his son and some friends have rigged their electric go-kart with the guts of a drone, and now it can be driven remotely.
I just finished moving this week into the SW Hills area of Portland and wanted to pass on a great free resource to those living in the US. This is the best way I have ever found to get to know your neighbors and keep the pulse of your neighborhood like any crime, who found a dog, who has furniture for sale, neighbor needing assistance, what is that funky smell, who has extra garden veggies to give away, who is holding a party, who has a reputable dentist with the best laughing gas, who knows an honest mechanic, and since it is Portlandia who is growing that big patch of herb in the park kind of info. There is an app and website named Nextdoor that is extremely unique and so very helpful. Many neighborhood information sources can be filled with people that do not even live in your neighborhood or advertising and spamming, but in Nextdoor everyone is verified by a postcard to their address or instantly by verifying your address by using a credit card (no charge to your card) or checking your phone number billing address. I get to know who lives in my hood and in the recent need who had spare moving boxes, packing tape, and dish packing materials to give away saving me a lot of money and work to purchase or scavenge up moving boxes. I don’t own any stock or know anyone at this company Nextdoor, but I highly recommend it and give the team kudos for what they are doing and how it helped me.
Go check out who is Nextdoor https://nextdoor.com/about_us/
Last week on May 3rd, 2016, Autodesk Chief Technology Officer Jeff Kowalski presented at the re:publica 2016 conference in Berlin Germany.
“We humans co-evolve with our tools. This is an ongoing dynamic with key inflection points throughout history, such as the move to agriculture, and the Industrial Revolution. We’re in another major inflection point now, focused on how one of our most powerful tools, the digital world, is expanding into a new realm, the physical world. While until only recently “the real world” and “the cloud” seemed to be so different, we’re now seeing that there’s a merging of the two, and it will only increase in future.
As digital technology transform the processes of design and creation, how does that impact the designers and users?
Are these technologies also changing the way humans approach and answer questions about the best way to design or build something?
What does this change mean for living, working and designing in the modern era?
Jeff will explore some ideas about the future, and posit what our future state(s) will be, sharing his viewpoint on the shape of things to come.
Watch the 58 minute presentation by Jeff to better understand where design and manufacturing may be going and things for you to think about as technology and design is transforming.
Last night I left for yoga in a hurry without my phone or house keys as the yoga studio is only a short walk from my home. When I returned home I realized my predicament of not having my phone or house keys. After checking all my locked doors and windows I debated my options while standing in the rain.
Then I remembered, the Apple Watch wear not only to tell time and for fitness tracking could make phone calls. I used Siri on the Watch to find a locksmith and then call them speaking into my watch like a modern day Dick Tracy.The watch only needs to be relatively near your phone to make calls and I was just outside my home where my phone was located. It worked and the locksmith came and unlocked my door. I wont go into what I think of the locksmith business (shakedown) as I have never been impressed by their charges and ways they operate. But my problem was solved with technology worn on my wrist.
This is a great article by Autodesk VP of Corporate Strategy Jon Pittman on a topical tech subject the Internet of Things (IoT). Our team and Autodesk has been doing a great deal of thinking about a connected world and how it relates to the products you design using our software and technology.
Imagine the building or car that provides operating feedback to the original designers so that they can learn from and improve them and future designs anticipate more realistic use. Jon has over 150 IoT connected devices in his family and while that may sound like a large number. If you were to consider all the devices and tech you have around you even your Fitbit tracker, Nest thermostats, Roku, and your smart phone, you may be surprised how many you relay on to be connected in some way today. But beyond the consumer IoT there is a much bigger picture that Jon describes.
March 22nd, 2016 launch from NASA Kennedy Space Center on Cape Canaveral to the International Space Station of the Orbital Cygnus cargo ship with the Made In Space Additive Manufacturing Facility on board. Photo by NASA.
Autodesk colleague Jonathan Knowles (@jonathanknowles) is like Mr. Science + Mr. Technology, and a great person. Jonathan recently participated in the launch of the next generation of additive manufacturing and wrote the following to explain why this is a big deal in manufacturing and how Autodesk’s technology has launched into orbit.
Made In Space is developing manufacturing technologies that are enabling people to live and work in space. The Made In Space Additive Manufacturing Facility was launched on March 22nd, 2016 and arrived at the International Space Station on March 26th, 2016. This is a first step toward putting manufacturing systems on the Moon, Mars, and on deep space missions.
The AMF is a permanent manufacturing facility on the ISS, providing hardware manufacturing services to both NASA and the U.S. National Laboratory onboard. Designed to last the entire lifetime of the ISS, AMF will be able to manufacture complex objects, with fine precision, and with various extrudable materials including flexible polymers and aerospace grade composites. Made In Space owns the AMF while NASA and other customers will pay to use it. Using replaceable subassemblies, the AMF was designed so that it could easily be upgraded to add new functionality and manufacturing methods in the future.
The AMF was designed entirely using Autodesk tools Autodesk Inventor and Fusion 360. Autodesk’s Memento reality capture technology is built into the AMF. Autodesk has been a part of Made In Space since the beginning. [Ed. Autodesk's Jonathan Knowles, has served as an advisor to the team since the company was founded.] Made In Space has collaborated with Marshall Space Flight Center’s In-Space Manufacturing Group and NASA Advanced Exploration Systems in the development of the emerging in-space manufacturing industry. Lowe’s Innovation Labs is partnering with Made In Space on developing space-optimized tools making the AMF the first hardware store in space.
In addition to the AMF, NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate has selected Made In Space for the NASA funded project, designated Archinaut™, which is designed to develop the necessary technologies to enable the first additive manufacturing, aggregation, and assembly of large and complex systems in space without astronaut extravehicular activity. Northrop Grumman and Oceaneering Space Systems will work as subcontractors to Made In Space to create the first system for 3D printing and assembling large structures in space, without direct, manual intervention on the part of an astronaut.
Archinaut is a game changer. Designing items intended to be deployed in space has traditionally been constrained by launch container size and environment survivability requirements. Add to that lift capacity limits and the high risk of launch, limited number of launch delivery options, and limited availability of astronauts for EVA, creating large space-based structures such as space stations has been a once-in-a-generation endeavor. Archinaut minimizes or removes these and other design limitations.
As we continue to explore our future off world and begin to set up the first human habitats on the moon and Mars, there will be no need to use rockets to send everything needed. We’ll have robots build build what we need using local resources.
The Autodesk ReCap team is looking for iPad users who want to actively participate in the ReCap 360 Mobile preview project using reality computing tools on a mobile device. The projects pre-release iOS application will be delivered to participants using Apple's TestFlight platform. The team has a limited number of TestFlight slots available so if you want to participate please sign up soon.
The Atlas V launch vehicle lifts off from Cape Canaveral. Credit: NASA
Congratulations to NASA, Orbital ATK, and Made in Space for launching the new 3D Printer Additive Manufacturing Facility (AMF) into orbit last night. It will soon arrive and be installed on the International Space Station and provide an upgraded 3D printing capability for use by the astronauts - and possibly you. Contained within the AMF is Autodesk Memento software. I have always thought our Autodesk products were out of this world, but they are literally now operating in space!
Stay tuned for more news about this exciting project.
Autodesk partner, friends, and Fusion 360 users Made in Space sent the first 3D printer designed for space 2011 is again sending a new updated 3D printer up to the International Space Station this Tuesday, March 22nd at 11:05 pm EST. Keeping with the long tradition of crazy NASA acronyms the 3D printer is named the “AMF” for Additive Manufacturing Facility.
Made in Space is the cutting edge on additive manufacturing in space and it opens up many possibilities to provide an object like a tool to astronauts in orbit when sending something form earth can be expensive and take a lot of time. With additive manufacturing of 3D printing the object can be designed on earth then simply transferred digitally to the International Space Station and 3D printed. Autodesk will be using the AMF to 3D print an astronaut fitness device.
Made in Space’s Additive Manufacturing Facility AMF - Image courtesy of Made in Space
”AMF will print with a wide range of polymers, is designed to last the entire lifetime of the space station, and will be commercially available for any customers on Earth who wish to get select hardware to space faster, safer, and more affordably than traditional launch methods.”
Except from NASA AMF mission page:
“The Additive Manufacturing Facility (AMF) enables the production of components on the International Space Station (ISS) for both NASA and commercial objectives. Parts, entire experiments, and tools can be created on demand utilizing the AMF that is installed into an Express Rack locker location. The AMF is capable of producing parts out of a wide variety of thermopolymers including engineered plastics.
The Additive Manufacturing Facility (AMF) is a permanent manufacturing facility on the ISS, providing hardware manufacturing services. AMF is twice the size of it’s predecessor 3D printer. The ability to manufacture on the ISS enables on-demand repair and production capability, as well as essential research for manufacturing on long-term missions. AMF allows for immediate repair of essential components, upgrades of existing hardware, installation of new hardware that is manufactured, and the manufacturing capability to support commercial interests on the ISS.
Additive manufacturing is the process of building a part layer-by-layer, with an efficient use of the material. The process leads to a reduction in cost, mass, labor and production time. The ISS crew would be able to utilize the AMF to perform station maintenance, build tools, and repair sections of the station in case of an emergency. The AMF uses an extrusion-based "3D printing" method, which Made in Space has already tested in zero-gravity with successful results. The AMF is capable of producing components from a variety of space-rated composites. This versatility allows for a variety of components and devices to be manufactured, enabling the mentioned uses to be applicable as well as unforeseen uses to be developed.
Using replaceable subassemblies, the AMF is designed so that it could easily be upgraded to add new functionality and manufacturing methods in the future. The AMF is designed to last the entire lifetime of the ISS. The AMF printer is designed to work with a wide range of various extrudable materials including flexible polymers and aerospace grade composites. Designed to operate in an EXPRESS Rack middeck locker, once installed the printer will be easily accessible by crew at all times.”