Evaluation of Computed Axial Lithography for rapid, volumetric additive manufacturing under low-gravity conditions

PI: Hayden Taylor, Taylor Waddell (Co-I), University of California - Berkeley

The evaluation of Computed Axial Lithography (CAL) for rapid, Volumetric Additive Manufacturing (VAM) under low-gravity conditions experiment will test a new additive manufacturing technique that enables contactless printing of biomaterials and engineering resin using the principles of computed tomography. The objective for a parabolic flight test is to successfully print both biomaterial and engineering components in the same machine during microgravity conditions. The data from this flight test – including fluid flow velocity refractive index and printing accuracy – will demonstrate the technique’s scalability.

Technology Areas (?)
  • NA
Problem Statement

Additive manufacturing in space allows astronauts to efficiently build or repair needed items during a mission without having had to bring those items with them from Earth. Some additive manufacturing techniques can even be used to fabricate parts of human organs, which could be critical for a crew member with organ damage on a long-duration mission.This technology could improve current space-based bioprinting techniques, which have the potential to alter cell growth or are not readily adaptable with a wide variety of materials.

Technology Maturation

Parabolic flight tests willexplore the effects of reduced gravity on the technology’s sedimentation,resin flows, print fidelity,and degree of conversion, with a particular focus on low-viscosity resins that are more challenging to print under normal gravity conditions.Overall, testing in microgravity aims to mature CAL to TRL 6. Doing so will advance its scalability,modularity, and versatility in printing both biomaterial and engineering components in the same machine.

Future Customers

Producing flexible components like gaskets and seals
Tissue modeling research
Bioprinting human organs
Printing dental components

Technology Details

  • Selection Date
    TechFlights20 (Sep 2020)
  • Program Status
  • Current TRL (?)
    Successful FOP Flights
  • 3 Parabolic

Development Team

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