By
updated 8/18/2011 12:49:07 PM ET 2011-08-18T16:49:07

A company specializing in 3-D printers has sent a model of the head of talk show host and space enthusiast Stephen Colbert flying miles high above the Earth.

MakerBot Industries recently launched a bright green 3-D model of Colbert’s head attached to a weather balloon into space and used it to capture stunning images of the planet below.

3-D printers allow items to be built layer by layer, similar to how a conventional printer lays ink on paper. The objects are made with thin layers of "feedstock," which can be metal, plastic or a variety of other materials.

MakerBot used a FlipCam – which was attached to a box contraption that was then pulled up by the weather balloon – to take video of the event. After the weather balloon popped, it sent the box back down to Earth, whichlanded miles away from the departure site.

MakerBot tracked the contraption via a GPS chip in a cell phone that was also included in the box.

Recently, 3-D printed objects have been garnering the interest of the space industry. In fact, a company called Made in Space recently completed a successful testing period of two 3-D printers on multiple NASA flights, with a scaled-down wrench becoming the first-ever tool printed in partial zero gravity.

Printing out parts in space could eventually be transplanted to other worlds such as the moon, where it could help human colonies gain a foothold by printing out robot parts or buildings, piece by piece.

Reach TechNewsDaily senior writer Samantha Murphy at smurphy@techmedianetwork.com This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Follow her on Twitter @SamMurphy_TMN

 

 

© 2012 TechNewsDaily

Discuss:

Discussion comments

,

Most active discussions

  1. votes comments
  2. votes comments
  3. votes comments
  4. votes comments