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Space Printer Build

Planetary Resources Reveals Out-of-This-World 3D Printing ( 34

Zothecula writes: If one is going to get into the asteroid mining business, one needs to prove that you can do something with what's brought back. That seems to be the thinking behind Planetary Resources' recent presentation at CES in Las Vegas, where the asteroid mining company unveiled the first object 3D printed using extraterrestrial materials. Made in collaboration with 3D Systems, the nickel-iron sculpture represents a stylized, geometric spacecraft, such as might be used for asteroid mining or prospecting. Planetary Resources says it is representative of what could be printed in a weightless environment.
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Planetary Resources Reveals Out-of-This-World 3D Printing

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  • If we mine the asteroids and bring the metals back home the planet will get heavier and heavier, that means we will get heavier (weight, not mass) and the year will get longer. I'm sure that will lead to some kind of disaster. Better for us to all pick flowers from our organic gardens and just look up at the stars at night. Mining asteroids! Hmmph, stay home I say.

    Senior Luddite #153.

    • year only gets longer if the angular momentum is changed in a particular way. Judicious planning can actually make the year shorter as well. With luck we can get rid of the slowing of the rotational rate that will be caused by the melting of the ice caps.

      • And by 'year' I meant 'day'. My bad.

        In any case the melting of the ice caps will result in a redistribution of the water mass, and the general warming of the ocean water will actually expand the volume (not the mass) of the water and thus also change the rotational inertial mass distribution.

  • the miner brings the material to the buyer and collects payment. the buyer sells to the fabricator who operates the printer.
  • Complete bumkum (Score:4, Insightful)

    by BarbaraHudson ( 3785311 ) <<moc.liamg> <ta> <nosduharabrab>> on Monday January 11, 2016 @08:30PM (#51283167) Journal
    All the nickel near the surface of this planet comes from meteorites. This is a non-story to generate hype. There is NOTHING to see here.
    • Agreed. A much more sensible idea would be using the waste products from asteroid mining to 3D print space habitats and refining propellants to send back the valuable ores and run the operation
  • Really, this should have been the first reply to this story. Leaving soooo disappointed.
  • What is missing in their pitch: you definitely need to incorporate cloud-based AI drone technology. How are you going to get investors suckered in just by showing a crummy model? They need to hire me for sure.
  • by manu0601 ( 2221348 ) on Monday January 11, 2016 @10:53PM (#51283849)
    Is their 3D printer able to operate in near-zero gravity? That does not look like something obvious.
  • Call me when they start building planets. I have a design for a new Earth, but all the fiddly bits around the fjords are in Africa.

Thufir's a Harkonnen now.