Additive Manufacturing Facility (Manufacturing Device) - 01.16.19

Summary | Overview | Operations | Results | Publications | Imagery

ISS Science for Everyone

Science Objectives for Everyone
The Additive Manufacturing Facility (AMF) enables the production of components on the International Space Station (ISS) for both NASA and commercial objectives. Parts, entire experiments, and tools can be created on demand utilizing the AMF that is installed into an Express Rack locker location. The AMF is capable of producing parts out of a wide variety of thermopolymers including engineered plastics.
Science Results for Everyone
Information Pending

The following content was provided by Michael P. Snyder, M.S. Aeronautical & Astronautical Engineering, and is maintained in a database by the ISS Program Science Office.
Facility Details

OpNom: Manufacturing Device

Facility Manager(s)
Michael P. Snyder, M.S. Aeronautical & Astronautical Engineering, Made in Space, Moffett Field, CA, United States

Facility Representative(s)
Matthew Christopher Napoli, Made In Space, Moffett Field, CA, United States

Made In Space, Moffett Field, CA, United States

Sponsoring Space Agency
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

Sponsoring Organization
National Laboratory (NL)

ISS Expedition Duration
September 2015 - March 2016; March 2016 - March 2020

Expeditions Assigned

Previous Missions
The precursor to this facility was the 3D Printing in Zero-G.


  • Onboard
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    Facility Description

    Facility Overview

    The Additive Manufacturing Facility (AMF) is a permanent manufacturing facility on the ISS, providing hardware manufacturing services. AMF is twice the size of it’s predecessor 3D printer. The ability to manufacture on the ISS enables on-demand repair and production capability, as well as essential research for manufacturing on long-term missions. AMF allows for immediate repair of essential components, upgrades of existing hardware, installation of new hardware that is manufactured, and the manufacturing capability to support commercial interests on the ISS.
    Additive manufacturing is the process of building a part layer-by-layer, with an efficient use of the material. The process leads to a reduction in cost, mass, labor and production time. The ISS crew would be able to utilize the AMF to perform station maintenance, build tools, and repair sections of the station in case of an emergency. The AMF uses an extrusion-based "3D printing" method, which Made in Space has already tested in zero-gravity with successful results. The AMF is capable of producing components from a variety of space-rated composites. This versatility allows for a variety of components and devices to be manufactured, enabling the mentioned uses to be applicable as well as unforeseen uses to be developed.
    Using replaceable subassemblies, the AMF is designed so that it could easily be upgraded to add new functionality and manufacturing methods in the future. The AMF is designed to last the entire lifetime of the ISS. The AMF printer is designed to work with a wide range of various extrudable materials including flexible polymers and aerospace grade composites. Designed to operate in an EXPRESS Rack middeck locker, once installed the printer will be easily accessible by crew at all times.

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    Facility Operations
    • AMF is installed into Express Rack Locker location in a nominal procedure.
    • Electrical and data connections are made with standard cannon type connectors.
    • Ground operators perform checks and produce parts on the AMF.
    • Crew removes print from AMF and either stores for down-massing or utilizes it.
    • Crew closes printer and the print and removal process is repeated.
    • Crew swaps printer components out if materials are changed. Components include feedstock cartridge and print head. Each step requires less than 15 minutes of operation.

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    Decadal Survey Recommendations

    Information Pending

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    Results/More Information

    Information Pending

    Results Publications

      Thomas DA, Snyder MP, Napoli M, Joyce ER, Shestople P, Letcher T.  Effect of acrylonitrile butadiene styrene melt extrusion additive manufacturing on mechanical performance in reduced gravity. AIAA SPACE and Astronautics Forum and Exposition, Orlando FL; 2017 September 12 10 pp.

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    Ground Based Results Publications

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    ISS Patents

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    Related Publications

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    Related Websites

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    NASA Image: ISS047E152501 - View during the Manufacturing Device Print removal, clean the extruder print nozzle, and stow. Photo taken during Expedition 47.

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    NASA Image: ISS047E152503 - View during the Manufacturing Device Print removal, clean the extruder print nozzle, and stow. Photo taken during Expedition 47.

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    The Additive Manufacturing Facility (AMF) at Made in Space headquarters. Image courtesy of Made in Space.

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