NASA unveils 3D printed smart ‘space’ fabric | Technology News USA
Home » News » Technology News » Nasa Unveils 3d Printed Smart Space Fabric

NASA unveils 3D printed smart ‘space’ fabric


READ MORE ON 3D PrintingNASAPerformance FabricTechnology News USA

Space Fabric

Image Courtesy:

A team led by Raul Polit Casillas, Systems Engineer, NASA has unveiled prototype swatches of a new metallic “space fabric” which has been created using 3D printing. Developed in Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California, USA, the fabric incorporates advanced functions that would be beneficial for use in space.

Appearing like a cross between chain mail and metallic tiles, the fabric is more than a fashion statement. It can reflect light and heat, while the opposite side absorbs it. By folding the material in different ways, it can conform to various shapes and produce the desired levels of reflectivity, passive heat management, and tensile strength, according to NASA.

In addition, the fabric with variety of applications has large antennas that can be folded and change shape quickly, and insulation for spacecraft visiting cold, icy moons and planets. It could also be used in flexible, insulated foot pads that would give landers and rovers a firm footing without melting the ice beneath them, micrometeorite shields for spacecraft, astronaut spacesuits, and for collecting samples on other planets.

Also ReadSmart jacket by Levi Strauss, Google to go on sale this year

It may be mentioned here that the fabric was produced using additive manufacturing, where an object isn’t milled or assembled, but built up layer by layer in one piece using streams of molten polymers or sintering metallic powders using precisely controlled lasers or electron beams. This allows for items to be made of very few parts needing final assembly, speeds up prototyping, greatly reduces costs, and allows for designs that would be impossible to produce using conventional methods.

Calling it “4D printing”, Casillas explains that it allows engineers to print both a desired geometry and function directly into a material, and moreover to incorporate multiple functions as well as produced organic, non-linear shapes at relatively low cost.

“I can program new functions into the material I’m printing. That also reduces the amount of time spent on integration and testing. You can print, test and destroy material as many times as you want,” says Casillas.


Have some news? Let us know on

Recommended by Apparel Resources

Jesta teams up with NGC Software

Jesta I.S. Inc., a global leader in integrated ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) solutions for apparel, footwear and hard goods enterprises, has collaborated with...

Shandong Ruyi chooses Lectra to be Industry 4.0-ready

Chinese textile company, Shandong Ruyi Technology Group, which specializes in manufacturing of high-end menswear, has ambitious plans to expand its business into the US and Europe markets. With the help...

Sympatex to display ‘functional jacket 4.0’ at Outdoor 2017

Taking Industry 4.0 on cards, Sympatex Technologies is all set to display its ‘functional jacket 4.0’ at the upcoming Outdoor 2017. The 4-day...

Aptos launches ‘Aptos Labs’

Aptos Inc., a recognized market leader in retail technology solutions, has recently launched Aptos Labs, where the company’s dedicated innovation development team will...

ZF TRW invests in Lectra’s FocusQuantum laser airbag cutters

Lectra, the world leader in integrated technology solutions, has helped ZF TRW, the Active and Passive Safety Division of ZF Friedrichshafen AG, by...

Dowi Hosiery Mills notes significant changes with NetSuite cloud ERP

Dowi Hosiery Mills, Philippines-based hosiery products manufacturer, has chosen NetSuite cloud offered by Oracle NetSuite Global Business Unit, the world’s leading provider of...

Start-up venture Amazish opts for Uditya Tech’s GEMSWEB

New Delhi (India)-based software solution provider, Uditya Tech Pvt. Ltd., is happy to announce that Amazish has opted for GEMSWEB software at its facility....

PervasID launches ‘next gen’ RFID – Space Ranger 9200

PervasID, UK-based RFID technology company, has launched a ‘next generation’ flat ceiling tile antenna reader system that will allow retailers to see the...

TAL Apparel improves efficiency via Nutanix solutions

Apparel manufacturer TAL Apparel was finding it tough to keep with the pace of its business expansion in Asia. Complex issues in IT...

Tukatech launches Cloud-based solutions to simplify fashion product development process

Founded by Ram Sareen, Tukatech, a leading provider of fashion technology solutions, is launching Cloud-based product development solutions that will eliminate sketching and enable collaboration and communication of design ideas...