NASA to grow 3D printed space wood

November 9, 2016


Researchers at NASA and Stanford University are trying to 3D print cell clusters that can produce non-living structural biomaterials like bone minerals, tooth enamel and wood. The team says they are on track to prove their concept by October of this year.

The team is lead by Lynn Rothchild, an evolutionary biologist who works for NASA and teaches astrobiology at Stanford. Diana Gentry is a doctoral candidate trained in biology mechanical engineering; Rothchild and Gentry have been working long hours, along with Stanford student Ashley Micks, on a proof of concept for their new 3D printing process. Last year, the team was awarded $100,000 through NASA's Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) Program which aims to turn science fiction into fact.

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