Deploying a robot in space takes preparation. To help astronauts train to use Robonaut 2 (R2), a humanoid helper, aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery on its final flight, engineers used RedEye On Demand's rapid prototyping service to create a full-scale, high-fidelity mockup.
Created by high-tech firm Wyle, R2 works alongside astronauts, taking over repetitive and dangerous tasks. So the mockup had to duplicate the geometry of the actual R2, with poseable limbs and an ability to withstand rough handling.
Conventional machining would have created an R2 lookalike in eight months at a cost of $180,000. RedEye On Demand used Fused Deposition Modeling technology to build the mockup from ABS material in just two weeks, at a cost of only $36,000.
Read more about the model robot that helped astronauts train.