We are very proud of our Additive Manufacturing intern Austin Suder who just won Future Engineers “Two for the Crew” Challenge, presented by the ASME Foundation and NASA. The challenge asked to invent a multifunctional object that combined two items into one for 3-D printing by crew members aboard the International Space Station (ISS). As a winner he will receive a trip to Washington DC, a MakerBot 3D printer donated to the orginization of his choice, and best of all, his design will be printed on the ISS and used by the astronauts.
Austin’s design was a Carabiner Tool Clip that combined a way to easily secure a tool and hold the sockets and drivers that the tool needs. After designing the part he then used simulation to iterate on the design with virtual testing, and then he 3D Printed a prototype on his home 3D Printer. Austin started this project by researching what problems the astronauts faced. He found that a big problem was that tools would drift off in the micro-gravity environment of the station. This was annoying when they are working inside the station, and a critical problem when they are on a space walk. He also realized that they used a separate “holder” to keep the sockets and screw driver heads that the tool needed. Using this knowledge he developed a simple to operate carabiner to secure the tether on the hand tool to the astronaut and then use that same part to hole the sockets and drivers.
But he did not stop there. He also learned what he could about the MadeInSpace 3D Printer that is on the station, and adapted the design to make sure the printer could make easily. Austin then used simulation to make sure the design was strong and robust. Then he printed his samples on his own home printer.
Local Phoenix station ABC15 stopped by PADT yesterday to interview Austin and here is their story:
Much of Austin’s knowledge and skill comes from his involvement in his school robotics team, and he will be donating the MakerBot he won to that team.
We hare very proud of Austin’s accomplishments. He works at PADT as an intern in the Advanced Manufacturing department focused on 3D Printing, doing CAD, running the machines, cleaning parts, and being our in-house expert on desktop 3D Printing. He will be graduating from High School this year and attending ASU as a Mechanical Engineer. We can not wait to see what he does next!