Unconfirmed news surfaced last year stating Majestic, a British search engine and mapping company are planning to 3D print the internet. What has happened is that this company has 3D printed a sculpture in space that replicates the internet. Majestic used the Made in Space Additive manufacturing Facility (AMF) to print this sculpture. It is the first British company to 3D print objects in space.
The model depicts huge volumes of internet data, backlinks, citation flows; trust flows and resembles rocky mountains. 3D printing of the internet was a tricky project and Majestic wanted to take it further by printing it in space. The printing plan was released on January 25th and the Make in Space printer printed the mountain-like model which was under planning since the last 18 months. Matthew Napoli, VP of In-Space Operations for Made In Space, said that working with Majestic was a great experience and the international cooperation amongst the working partners was commendable, taking the job of manufacturing objects in space, to the next level. The internet floats on the ISS and represents the constellation of websites which are interlinked. Majestic maintains tools like the Trust and Citation metrics to measure the quality and quantity of the connections.
The AMF was launched in March 2016 and is the first 3D printer used in space. It has a volume of140 x 100 x 100 mm, and a minimum layer height of 75 microns, a resolution of 0.1 – 0.44 mm, and can be used in zero-gravity conditions of the space. With an extremely resilient make, the AMF will last as long as the International Space Station and can be easily upgraded.
AMF is engaged in the task of creating parts of space equipment that get broken or need repair and replacement. The other task is to allow research group and third parties like Majestic to perform experiments and create their 3D printing creations in space.