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NASA Plans to 3D Print…Trees?

NASA Plans To 3D Print Wood In Space!

Evolutionary Biologists Lynn Rothschild and her student, Diana Gentry, are working on a project that would enable 3D Printed organisms to “manufacture” wood and other raw materials. The plan is to use the 3D Printer to produce a group of cells that excrete the raw material. This would be very beneficial to space travel as raw materials could be produced on site rather than having to be carried up with the astronauts. You may wonder , “wouldn’t the cells have to fed an equal amount weight of “food” anyway to produce raw materials of the same weight?” From what we can gather the theory is, just like how a seed uses water, nutrients from the soil, and

International Space Station|http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/0/04/International_Space_Station_after_undocking_of_STS-132.jpg/220px-International_Space_Station_after_undocking_of_STS-132.jpg
International Space Station | Wikipedia

photosynthesis, to bud into a flower, plant, etc…; something similar would be done with the cells. The sun would essentially provide a limitless source of energy. How well these cells are bio-engineered by these researchers will determine what external nutrients they will need to do their job. As 3D Printing continues to rapidly change how many people and institutions approach manufacturing we expect many more uses for the technology will develop.

Source | engineering.com

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