Reality Computing

Gravity defying Reality Computing

By: Community Manager | Posted ‎02-17-2016 11:12 AM , edited ‎06-22-2016 11:57 AM |


The relationship between human nature and our desire to create, use and improve technology has enabled us to explore reality as it exists beyond our own planet.  Exploring the frontiers of space fascinates and unites people from all over the world. Emerging 3D technology is beginning to enable greater human independence in space as well as reveal more information from the time we left our first galactic footsteps on the moon.



The Smithsonian 3D Digitization Program’s Adam Metallo and Vincent Rossi have been involved in some of the program’s most recent findings using 3D technology. In February 2016, the Smithsonian announced that it had uncovered writing on the interior walls of the Apollo 11 Command Module Columbia during a joint scan project with Autodesk.  Presumably written by the astronauts during their flight to the moon in 1969, the inscriptions include notes, a calendar, and drawings. The project to digitize Columbia will make these details and many others available online for the first time.


Metallo and Rossi will present the Smithsonian 3D Digitization Program’s work live on stage at REAL to be held March 8-9 in San Francisco. During the 2nd annual Reality Computing summit, a new cross-section of individuals, teams, and companies will discuss and demonstrate how they are leveraging 3D technologies to innovate in art, architecture, science, engineering, manufacturing, construction, entertainment and everything in between. 


The team behind Made In Space Inc. is bringing additive manufacturing technology into orbit, literally. Founded in 2010 with the goal of enabling humanity’s future in space, Made in Space develops additive manufacturing technology for use in zero-gravity. By constructing hardware that can build what is needed in space, as opposed to launching it from Earth, the company plans to accelerate and broaden space development while also providing unprecedented access for people on Earth to use in-space capabilities.


In January 2016, NASA and Made in Space collaborated on the first ever in-space manufacturing called the “3D Printing in Zero-Gravity Experiment.” The experiment was a landmark for both organizations and involved building the first zero-gravity 3D printer.


The “3D Printing in Zero-Gravity Experiment” consisted of printing a series of 14 unique shapes, some multiple times, to determine material properties of objects that are 3D printed in space. The overwhelming success of this initial in-space manufacturing experiment has laid the groundwork for Made in Space to build the successor device; the Additive Manufacturing Facility (AMF). Soon the AMF will be launched to the International Space Station (ISS) U.S. National Laboratory (ISS National Laboratory) becoming a commercially available facility designed to last the entire lifetime of the space station itself.



Matthew Napoli, VP of In-Space Operations for Made In Space, was part of the team that built and operated the 1st off-world 3D printer in 2014 as part of NASA’s 3D Printing in Zero-G Experiment and Project Manager for the Manufacturing Device which will be a permanent additive manufacturing facility beginning operations on the ISS in 2016. He is currently leading the path forward for in-space manufacturing of items for NASA, commercial, and STEM users. As a presenter at REAL, Napoli will discuss these breakthrough projects and what the future holds for Made in Space.


These scientists and engineers are among the visionaries who will take the stage at REAL, which aims to foster new collaborations and inspire new innovations as this interconnecting 3D tech ecosystem renders new global, industrial and individual realities into existence.


Tickets are available on



Article written by Stephanie Wells


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