Hasti AfsarifardUntil a few days ago, Hasti was part of the Business Development unit at Made in Space. You may know Made In space as the company who sent a 3D printer in the SPACE!

A 3D printer in a zero-G environment… how does that work?

Hasti: Initially, Made In Space planned to send an off-the-shelf 3D printer to the International Space Station, but quickly realized there
were several challenges that would require building a specialized 3D printer from the ground up. The printer was ruggedized to survive the intense loads and vibrations experienced during a rocket launch. There were also specific adjustments that had to be made to ensure that components inside the printer won’t float around in zero-G and that prints adhere to the print bed. The printer also needs to be safe, easy-to-use and capable of being operated remotely.

As you are working on getting your second 3D printer in Space, I’d like to understand: why sending 3D Printers in Space?

Hasti: The ISS is currently crowded with an abundance of spare parts that will most likely never be used but kept in store in preparation for anticipated scenarios.

What type of models are being printed in space?

Hasti: The first object printed in space was a replacement part for the Zero-G Printer itself and the most recent print was a functional ratchet that was printed on-demand. Most of the other objects printed on ISS so far are test coupons that were recently brought to Earth to be compared with identical objects to determine if there are any differences in objects made in space with object made on Earth. You can download the models of the first objects 3D printed in space for free on our Sketchfab page.

Is there a program for people to submit models to be printed into the space?

Hasti: You can submit ideas through our beta print request form (http://www.madeinspace.us/print-request-form) or email business@madeinspace.us.

How do you select those models?

Hasti: For the initial set of commercial prints we are interested in working with a variety of entities such as universities, space agencies, corporations and entrepreneurs to develop a variety of use cases that demonstrate unique values of utilizing additive manufacturing in space. For example, optimized structures that could only be created in weightlessness or iterating an experiment in a matter of days rather than months or years.

I assume NASA and Space-related companies to be mostly male-dominant. You are actually working in such a company, do you confirm my assumption? If so, are you noticing some changes in this trend though?

Hasti: I think we’ve come a long way compared to where women were just a few decades ago. I often notice I’m the only woman in a meeting or one of the only women exhibiting at a space or 3D printing conference but I don’t let that intimidate me. It’s actually empowering. I know that I bring a unique perspective and set of skills to my team. Although workforce ratios are far from balanced, women are more ambitious these days and I’m optimistic that it will balance out in time.

Prior to your position at Made In Space, you already had an extended experience with 3D Printing. Where does this interest for 3D Printing come from?

Hasti: My interest in 3D printing was ignited in Fall of 2012 when I was sitting in my Management of Technology and Innovation class at UC Santa Cruz trying to come up with a startup concept to develop for my quarter-long project. I wondered what the world would be like if everyone had access to this technology and I dove into researching this industry. After that class I found creative ways to keep researching and learning about 3D printing. I volunteered at a local tech-center known as MakersFactory, I took an art class focused on using digital fabrication technologies, and I joined an engineering club on campus then helped assemble and demonstrate the first 3D printer that was accessible to all students and faculty at UCSC.

How would you like to see the 3D Printing industry evolve in the future?

Hasti: Ever since my initial fascination with 3D printing I have aspired to make on-demand manufacturing accessible to everyone. I don’t see it in everyone’s homes any time soon, but it’s quickly becoming available at libraries, schools, print service providers, and online service providers. There are several challenges with consumer printers, such as speed and ease-of-use, that need to be solved before mass adoption can become a reality.

Thank you Hasti for your involvement with Women in 3D Printing!

Want to know more? Check out this video where Hasti explains some of the things they’ve printed in space and what’s next: https://youtu.be/AxVnn3posuY

And don’t forget to join the Women in 3D Printing group on LinkedIn, click here to join!

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Nora is a 3D Printing expert since 2010, particularly skilled at building strategic alliances and strong business relationships.
Named among the 20 most influential women in Additive Manufacturing every year since 2015, Nora also received the Certificate of Honor in Manufacturing by the City of San Francisco in 2017 for her work with Women in 3D Printing, and was awarded Community Advocate of the year 2018 by her peers.

She started her career in Additive Manufacturing in 2010 by joining 3D Printing service leader, Sculpteo.

Nora joined Ivaldi Group in 2018. Ivaldi Group leverages cutting-edge additive manufacturing solutions to provide on-site parts on demand services for various industries. Drawing on a breadth of additive manufacturing industry experience, Ivaldi Group works across a range of stakeholders to digitize product portfolios and improve cost, risk and delivery for all parties, providing a Part Replacement as a Service solution.
As the VP of Strategy, Nora works closely with the CEO to build and implement the company's strategies in various segments: from core business value to customer relationship and parts production and delivery.

Nora founded Women in 3D Printing in 2014 to promote women leaders in the Additive Manufacturing industry. She also co-initiated and co-organizes #3DTalk, an industry-specific and educational event series featuring women in the 3D Printing and related industries. #3DTalks are global events hosted in various cities across the USA and Europe.

Pursuing her vision for more social inclusion, she joined 3D Africa as Board Advisor. 3D Africa is a youth and women economic empowerment program developed by the Youth for Technology Foundation (YTF), a nonprofit organization with years of experience combining education, technology, and economic development to transform economically challenged populations into self-sustainable communities. 3D Africa is part of the YTF’s Clinton Global Initiative 2016 Commitment to Action.

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