Need a Wrench when you Travel? Just Email It!

As many readers know, I like to write about futuristic travel stuff. That’s why I love this story about how the International Space Station needed a wrench. Well, it’s a bit far for UPS or FedEx to deliver it so they did the next best thing… emailed the wrench.

Seems a few monthSpace Shuttles ago, they added a 3-D printer to the space station. This piece of equipment will save them not only time but lots of money when they need replacement parts. Instead of waiting for the next journey up in space, all the astronauts need now is a prototype on the ground to be printed high above earth.

We have seen gains in 3-D printing over the past couple years but the best is yet to come with respect to travel. For example, lack of replacement parts is often a reason for airplane mechanical delays. What if they could just print a needed part instead of waiting for another aircraft?

Perhaps you are traveling but forget to pack a power cord or international adapter for your electronics. What if it is as simple as printing another one?

It is really mind boggling to imagine the limits of 3-D printing but look for many benefits to travelers in the years ahead.

What are your thoughts on how 3-D printing will change our lives in 2015?

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