NASA’s Medical 3D Printing Challenge

Keeping healthy on the way to Mars using 3D printing

NASA has announced another 3D printing challenge, this time for K-12 students to develop medical technology for use on a potential Mars voyage. 

NASA has done this before: opening up a public competition to generate ideas for technology. It’s a proven method for quick and efficient ideation that they most recently generated ideas for a workable 3D printable Mars habitat

 Mars, of course
Mars, of course

Now they’re seeking something a lot more modest, but just as important. They explain: 

If you are a K-12 student in the United States, your challenge is to create a digital 3D model of an object that could be used by an astronaut to maintain physical health on a 3-year mission to Mars. Your design must be intended to be 3D printed and could be used for a range of medical needs including diagnostic, preventative, first-aid, emergency, surgical, and/or dental purposes. While exercise, psychological, and nutritional health are important, they are not priority areas for this challenge. 

This is actually a critical matter, as a journey to the Red Planet will no doubt take at the least many months of weightless travel. That long exposure to such an environment will doubtless introduce a series of medical challenges that must be overcome – twice, as there is sure to be a return trip. 

The contest opened on October 26, with the date for entries to be submitted as January 25, 2017. They’ve perform an analysis of entries and determine finalists, with the winner being announced on March 28, 2016. 

Got some ideas for helping astronauts survive months in space? Enter this competition!

Via Future Engineers

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