Collaboration between Braskem, the largest thermoplastic resin producer in the Americas, and U.S.-based Made In Space, the leading developer of zero gravity 3D printers and an official supplier to NASA has enabled astronauts to fabricate tools and spare parts in space using the bio-based resin, which effectively increases the autonomy of space missions.
Brisket’s Innovation & Technology team has been working for more than a year with Made In Space to develop a Green Plastic solution especially for 3D printing in zero gravity. The collaboration will enable astronauts to receive by e-mail digital designs of the parts and then print them, which means dramatic savings in terms of time and costs.
Happy with the collaboration, Patrick Teyssonneyre, director of Innovation & Technology at Braskem, said “Through this partnership, we combined one of the greatest innovations in polymers, Green Plastic, with advanced space technology to print 3D objects in zero gravity. Putting a renewable polymer in space for printing applications represents an important milestone in our history.”
“The ability to print parts and tools in 3D on demand increases the reliability and safety of space missions. This partnership with Braskem is fundamental for diversifying the raw materials used by the AMF and for making this technology more robust and versatile,” said Andrew Rush, CEO of Made In Space.
The structure of the actual printer uses Braskem’s technology. The equipment’s printing bed is made of Braskem’s ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMW-PE). The resin provides increased tack for printing with Green Polyethylene and offers superior abrasion and impact resistance.
Braskem operates in more than 70 countries, has around 8,000 Team Members and operates 40 industrial units in Brazil, the United States, Germany, and Mexico.