Additive Manufacturing Facility (AMF) Design Value Test Plan for Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS) (AMF-ABS Design Values) - 11.15.17

Overview | Description | Applications | Operations | Results | Publications | Imagery

ISS Science for Everyone

Science Objectives for Everyone
The Additive Manufacturing Facility Design Value Test Plan for Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (AMF-ABS Design Values) creates 3D printed parts from ABS plastic using the Additive Manufacturing Facility, a Made In Space (MIS) commercial facility aboard the space station. A series of ground-based tests compare the resolution, dimensional accuracy, mechanical properties, and tolerances of flight printed materials with those made on the ground using a printer equivalent to the AMF unit on the International Space Station (ISS). Results contribute to the development of baseline mechanical properties and a design database to inform design of future 3D printed parts made from ABS plastic in space.
Science Results for Everyone
Information Pending

The following content was provided by Niki Werkheiser, and is maintained in a database by the ISS Program Science Office.
Experiment Details

OpNom:

Principal Investigator(s)
Niki Werkheiser, NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, AL, United States

Co-Investigator(s)/Collaborator(s)
Tracie J. Prater, Ph.D., NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, AL, United States

Developer(s)
Made In Space, Moffett Field, CA, United States

Sponsoring Space Agency
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

Sponsoring Organization
Technology Demonstration Office (TDO)

Research Benefits
Earth Benefits, Space Exploration

ISS Expedition Duration
September 2017 - February 2018

Expeditions Assigned
53/54

Previous Missions
Information Pending

^ back to top

Experiment Description

Research Overview

  • The NASA In-Space Manufacturing (ISM) Project requires test specimens printed from ABS in the microgravity environment to develop baseline mechanical properties for ABS materials manufactured in space using additive manufacturing, or 3D printing. Results will inform design of future parts printed on orbit.
  • As part of the Additive Manufacturing Facility Design Value Test Plan for Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (AMF-ABS Design Values) investigation, NASA provides the Computer-aided design (CAD) design of the test specimens to Made In Space for the optimization and printing of two geometrically identical sets: one manufactured using the Manufacturing Device on ISS, and the other manufactured on the flight-like unit at Made in Space, Inc.
  • The specimens returned to Earth undergo a series of tests and analyses at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC), similar to those conducted on the 3D Printing in Zero-G specimens, in order to characterize printer performance parameters including resolution, material properties, dimensional accuracy, and tolerances.

Description

The objective of the Additive Manufacturing Facility Design Value Test Plan for Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (AMF-ABS Design Values) activity is to develop baseline mechanical properties (design values) on the ABS material used in the Manufacturing Facility (AMF), a commercial facility owned and operated by Made in Space aboard the International Space Station (ISS). The Manufacturing Device can print ABS, High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE), and Polyetherimide (PEI), also known as ULTEM. ABS has been selected initially to provide comparison with the results of the 3D Printing in Zero G Technology Demonstration Mission. Comparative analysis of ground and flight prints from AMF, provided the classes of specimens are manufactured at identical processing conditions, may shed further light on microgravity effects on the fused deposition modeling (FDM) process. While it is unlikely that microgravity influences FDM based on analysis of the phase I prints from the 3D printer developed as part of the 3D Printing in Zero-G Technology Demonstration mission, differences in manufacturing processing variables between ground and flight specimens precluded making a definitive assessment.
 
The design database generated through this work provides more information in the design of ABS plastics produced using AMF at a set of optimized process settings specified by MIS. ABS filament feedstock for AMF ground and flight prints must originate from the same lot of material. When possible, manufacturing process parameters for ground and flight prints should be identical. Additionally, a build log for ground and flight prints is to be maintained and provided to NASA.
 
A set of 60 mechanical test specimens are produced by both the ground and flight printer. These specimens (totaling 120) are mechanically tested at room temperature. For the mechanical specimens, MIS will prepare panels of material with thicknesses corresponding to specific test coupon geometries. The assumption is that four test specimens can be extracted from each panel for all specimens except flatwise tension. For flatwise tension, all ground or flight specimens may be cut from a single panel. Panel thickness is 4 mm. Specimen preparation (machining coupon geometries indicated out of the panel) is done at MSFC.
 
In addition to the mechanical test specimens, two range coupons are produced on both the ground and flight printer. These specimens enable the evaluation of printer performance: resolution, dimensional accuracy, and tolerances. One functional part, a fan cap, is produced on both the ground and flight printer. This part is fabricated in two pieces and provides a ground-based evaluation of fit-up at interfaces.

^ back to top

Applications

Space Applications
NASA’s In-Space Manufacturing project is developing the capability for on-demand production of tools, parts, and other items for sustainable long-duration missions. This investigation helps to identify differences in the way 3D printing, or additive manufacturing processes, work in microgravity.

Earth Applications
Facilities used to fabricate parts in microgravity must meet the operational and safety constraints of spaceflight, integrating cutting-edge capabilities that require less power, mass, and volume. Systems must provide increased remote and autonomous capabilities compared to current terrestrial technologies. As a result, many of the manufacturing systems developed under the in-space manufacturing project have generated multiple new patents and technology transfers to ground-based applications.

^ back to top

Operations

Operational Requirements and Protocols
All parts printed on orbit are placed into bags and returned to Earth for ground testing and analysis. Other than part removal and stow, no other on-orbit operations are planned for these parts.

^ back to top

Decadal Survey Recommendations

Information Pending

^ back to top

Results/More Information

Information Pending

^ back to top

Related Websites
NTRS Summary Report on Phase I Results from the 3D Printing in Zero G Technology Demonstration Mission, Volume I
NASA Advanced Exploration Systems

^ back to top


Imagery