The period of time between 1955–1972 is well known for the Space race between the Capitalist American’s and the Communist USSR. It ‘s also a sad period in history as we also know it as the cold war period, during which both the super powers of the world created huge arsenal of Nuclear weapons and almost brought the human race to the brink of extinction. Thankfully, nothing happed then and the collapse of USSR somewhat eased the tension. Being an optimist, I always look at my glass being half full and I think the space war during this period helped up advance technologically. All electronics that we use today seem to have their origin around this time period.
Somewhere back in 2011 – 12, the patents in the 3d printing industry expired and that gave rise to another kind of Technology Race. I call it the 3d printing race which is somewhat similar to what happened during the Space Race. The only difference this time is that there are no two super powers fighting for supremacy, the fight is being fought at a vast scale. 3d printing being such a disruptive technology that has its applications in almost all sects of human life means anyone who controls it would eventually be the next super power of the world.
So when NASA sent a test printer to space, it opened a whole new avenue for people developing 3d printers. The fight transcended to being the 1st to build a 3d printer that could work under the Zero gravity conditions of space. The country that has a working Space 3d printer can adventure out of the safety of our planet and probably send an army of 3d printing robots to build bases on distant planets. Human’s are like greedy parasites always hungry for resources, our history is full of wars and genocides caused due to this never ending hunger. So whoever controls the Space printing technology would automatically control the resources of that planet.
The Race for the supremacy of Space 3d printing is kind of begun with the Chinese government going all out with their version of 3d printer that can work in Zero Gravity. The 3d printer is being developed by a Chinese company called Tiertime Technology Co., Ltd in collaboration with Chinese aerospace institution. The Chinese Space printer is said to be based on the already-successful desktop 3D printer, the UP Plus 2. But the similarities end there as the space 3d printer would be completely redesigned to work under the harsh conditions of space. A Few design changes would include a newly designed cooling system, the material feeding system, the extruder movement control system, the distance between the nozzle and the platform, and a closed enclosure that will house the printer.
Guo Ge, CEO of Tiertime said "As a world-leading 3D printing company, Tiertime uses constant innovation as a driving force of its development. It is one of our goals to develop 3D printing technology that meets the research and development needs of the Aerospace Industry. Through this cooperation with one of China's aerospace institutions, we are very confident that we will accomplish this goal."
One of the engineers from the Chinese aerospace institution spoke to us about this collaboration with Tiertime, he said "We have been working with Tiertime since 2004, and have been using Tiertime's industrial 3D printers for product prototyping in Aerospace research and development, which has involved large and complicated products with thin shells.
Working with Tiertime's 3D Printer has saved a lot of money and time in product verification. Our successful cooperation in the past has laid a solid foundation for this new innovative project. We hope that it will achieve success again!"
So am I worried about history repeating itself, are we on the brink of another cold war? I am really not worried about because I know that whoever wins, the ultimate victory will be for the Human race.