Made In Space are a team of experts originally assembled (if you'll pardon the pun) at Singularity University, NASA Ames. They're a group of 3-D printing experts, spaceflight veterans, and entrepreneurs, including former astronaut Dan Barry and president of Planetary Resources Chris Lewicki.
They've been tasked with spending the next year or so experimenting on and developing a 3-D printer for use on the ISS. Tests in microgravity have already been undertaken, and they're planning to commence full development on the project this Fall.
"The ability to 3-D print parts and tools on demand greatly increases the reliability and safety of space missions while also dropping the cost by orders of magnitude," explains Made In Space CEO, Aaron Kemmer. "The first printers will start by building test items, such as computer component boards, and will then build a broad range of parts, such as tools and science equipment."
ANALYSIS: 3-D Printed Pizza to Feed Mars Colonists?
Presently, off-world outposts such as the ISS are entirely dependent on Earth. Lacking any manufacturing capabilities of their own, all tools, spare parts, and anything else they may need have to be shipped to orbit from Earth.