NASA 3D Prints Metal Space Fabric
on 20 April 2017
A chainmail of the future, 3D-printed flexible metal space fabric is being produced by NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab. As far as functionality goes, there are four important attributes: reflectivity, foldability, passive heat management and tensile strength. Each of these has untold applications. Because of its sheer strength, it could be used to shield spacecraft but its insulation capabilities could translate to future spacesuits. The foldability, however, may prove most valuable as the fabric is easy to transport and expand once in space. Any way you look at it, this material is an advancement in 3D printing and the opportunities are endless.