Woodburn man invites students to 3D print in space
An organization founded by a Woodburn man is holding a contest giving college students the chance to have one of their designs manufactured by a 3D printer located on the International Space Station.
Enterprise in Space, a project created by Woodburn resident Shawn Case that's now part of the National Space Society, is accepting submissions for its "Print the Future" competition through March 1. The winning design will be manufactured by a space crew member using a 3D printer located 200 miles above Earth.
"The possibilities of where people are going with 3D printing in space is phenomenal," Case said. "In the future they'll be able to print infrastructure, medicine and habitats in space."
Case, a lifelong space enthusiast, created Enterprise in Space in 2014 with the goal of sending a 3D-printed spacecraft containing student experiments into low Earth orbit. Enterprise in Space now also holds student-oriented, educational contests, including the Print the Future competition and a contest that challenges participants to come up with solutions for space debris.
According to Made in Space, the company partnered with NASA that owns the 3D printer on the ISS, 3D printing could expand the possibilities of manufacturing in space.
"By manufacturing space assets in space, as opposed to launching them from Earth, the company plans to accelerate and broaden space development while also providing unprecedented access for people on Earth to use in-space capabilities," the Made in Space website reads.
Contest entries will be judged in four categories: scientific merit, engineering merit, commercial potential and originality.
Participants must be 18 or older. To enter, each individual or team (up to five people) must sign up as a crew member on the Enterprise in Space website and register in the competition. Then, each team must sign up as a Print the Future team on Sketchfab, a website used to display and share 3D content. Finally, each team must upload its design package to the Enterprise in Space website. Go here for complete rules.
All participants with qualified entries will receive a one-year Sketchfab professional account, along with other prizes. Prizes will also be given to the up to 10 semifinalists and the top three finalists. The grand prize team will have their design printed on the International Space Station and will also receive up to three test prints of their design created at Made in Space's earth facility, scholarships from the Kepler Space Institute and other prizes.