Lowe’s Home Improvement and their Lowe’s Innovation Labs have partnered with Made in Space to launch the first commercial 3D printer to space. In 2016, the printer The machine, known as the Additive Manufacturing Facility (AMF) was installed on the International Space Station, where it is being used to make tools and parts for astronauts. This is just the beginning of a partnership to bring tools to space and technology to Earth. And last week, it printed out its first tool, a Lowes Private Brand Kobalt wrench that astronauts can use to do maintenance work aboard the orbiting lab.
The wrench “demonstrates the capability of the AMF to manufacture purpose-specific tools and hardware on demand,” Jenny Popis, manager of corporate public relations at Lowe’s, told Space.com via email.
“Astronauts and researchers can get creative and print items they need within the size constraints of the printer bed, which is 10 cm x 14 cm x 10 cm [3.9 by 5.5 by 3.9 inches],” she added.
Lowe’s and Made in Space were honored to be recognized by the White House alongside many organizations around the country as a Champion of Change for Making during the 2016 National Week of Making. We announced our commitment to expand our partnership with Made in Space to develop a tool that can up-cycle plastic waste into 3D printer filament. By using this filament to 3D print new tools and other products, then recycle and printed new parts again, we can close the loop of plastic manufacturing.