Artec 3D hopes that its "Space Spider" 3D scanner will one day have a presence in space, possibly aboard the International Space Station.
The Space Spider's advanced cooling system has been designed to prevent the handheld scanner from overheating, making it an ideal solution while in microgravity. It's not uncommon to hear that electronics in orbit overheat and malfunction, with NASA and other space agencies asking companies to find solutions to prevent these types of issues.
"Imagine the potential of using 3D scanning technology on the International Space Station paired with a 3D printer," said Artyom Yuhkin, president and CEO of Artec 3D. "The Space Spider boasts an enhanced cooling system that allows the user to capture accurate 3D data more rapidly. This handheld scanner can endure some of the most difficult situations on Earth and has been engineered to perform in nearly zero-gravity environments when called upon."
Astronauts aboard the ISS already have access to the Made in Space 3D printer, finding a number of innovative uses for it. NASA researchers are comparing 3D-printed parts with traditionally manufactured test parts - but applaud the use of 3D printers as a great solution to print emergency parts when needed.