New York: Come September, NASA plans to have the first 3D-printed space camera to give space exploration a new dimension.
"We are the first to attempt to build an entire instrument with 3D printing," said Jason Budinoff, an aerospace engineer at NASA`s Goddard Space Flight Centre in Maryland.
Budinoff is building a 2-inch camera for a cubesat - a miniature satellite, space.com reported.
The camera will have to pass vibration and thermal-vacuum tests next year to prove that it`s capable of space travel.
Budinoff is also using 3D printing to build a 14-inch dual-channel telescope.
To build the 3D-printed instruments, first a computer-controlled laser melts down a pile of metal powder.
It then fuses the melted metal into a specific configuration determined by a 3D computer design.
The instruments are built and assembled layer by layer - like slices of bread from a loaf.
The 3D printers could reduce the overall cost of building space exploring instruments in the near future, the report added.