Planetary Resources, a company hoping to make asteroid mining into a trillion dollar industry, earlier this year unveiled the world’s first 3D printed object made from bits of an asteroid.
3D printing, and additive manufacturing processes more generally, have made many advances in recent years. Just a few years ago, most 3D printing was only used for building prototypes, which would then go on to be manufactured via conventional processes. But it’s now increasingly being used for manufacturing in its own right.
Nearly two years ago, NASA even sent a 3D printer to the International Space Station with the goal of testing how the technology works in micro-gravity. While the printer resembles a Star Trek replicator, it’s not quite that sophisticated yet; the objects it can print are small prototypes for testing.http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/crux/2016/05/17/the-first-moon-base-will-be-printed/