Document Type

Research Paper

Publication Date


Publication Title

Marshall Space Flight Center Faculty Fellowship Program


Recent technological advances in the area of Additive Manufacturing (i.e. 3D printing) allow for exploration of their use within long-duration manned space missions. Among the many potential application domains, medical and dental fabrication in support of crew health is of interest to NASA’s Advanced Exploration Systems directorate. A classification of medical events with their associated response timeline discern between those applications where current 3D printing technologies can provide adequate support. Products and devices that require on-demand fabrication (due to the high level of personal customization) but that can wait for a reasonable (e.g. few hours) fabrication time are the most promising areas. Among these non-emergency, on-demand applications, two were identified for further investigation: dental health and pharmaceutical drugs. A discussion on the challenges presented by a microgravity operational environment on these technologies is provided.



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