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.
Carrano, Andres L..
"Selected On-Demand Medical Applications of 3D-Printing for Long-Duration Manned Space Missions."
Marshall Space Flight Center Faculty Fellowship Program: 52-61.