Redwire’s new ISS-based 3D BioFabrication Facility was used to 3D print the meniscus of a human knee in space.


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The 3D printing industry continues to make groundbreaking advancements, and the latest achievement comes from space system manufacturer Redwire. Using their upgraded 3D BioFabrication Facility (BFF) on the International Space Station (ISS), Redwire successfully 3D bioprinted a human knee meniscus on-orbit.

The 3D bioprinted meniscus was then returned to Earth onboard SpaceX’s Crew-6 Mission for further analysis. This achievement is significant because it has the potential to unlock improved treatments for meniscal injuries in space, which is one of the most common injuries for US Service Members.

Redwire’s Executive Vice President, John Vellinger, commented on the milestone, stating, “This is a groundbreaking milestone with significant implications for human health. Demonstrating the ability to successfully print complex tissue such as this meniscus is a major leap forward toward the development of a repeatable microgravity manufacturing process for reliable bioprinting at scale.”

The 3D bioprinting process involved culturing the meniscus on the ISS for 14 days using Redwire’s Advanced Space Experiment Processor (ADSEP). This fully automated facility is used for a range of life and physical-science research on board the ISS.

The 3D print was conducted as part of the BFF-Meniscus-2 Investigation, in collaboration with the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences Center for Biotechnology (4D Bio3), a Maryland-based biomedical research center focused on exploring and adapting novel biotechnologies for military applications.

Redwire’s upgraded BFF, which was installed on the ISS in February 2023, provides greater temperature control when 3D printing with temperature-sensitive bioinks. Combined with ADSEP, it is the first system capable of 3D printing human tissue in the microgravity conditions of space.

The 3D bioprinting process involves placing adult pluripotent stem cells and 3D printing ultra-fine layers of bioink. These layers can be built up to form viable structures. To ensure the tissue doesn’t collapse, the updated BFF features a Redwire-developed cell-culturing system that strengthens tissue over time. This process can take between 12 to 45 days and results in the production of self-supporting tissue under gravity.

Redwire is looking to the future and hopes to address the shortage of organ donors for transplant patients using this technology. In November, Redwire will launch new microgravity research payloads targeting pharmaceutical drug development and regenerative medicine on the SpaceX CRS-29 resupply mission to the ISS.

The ISS has become a hub for additive manufacturing research in recent years. In 2025, a 3D printed ‘heart-on-a-chip’ will be sent to the ISS as part of the AstroCardia project. This collaboration between five Belgian companies and research centers aims to study the heart’s aging process in zero-gravity conditions.

Additionally, French industrial 3D printer manufacturer AddUp sent a metal 3D printer demonstrator to the ISS last year. The printer, developed as part of the European Space Agency’s ‘Metal3D’ project, can 3D print metal parts in microgravity conditions.

The advancements in 3D printing technology on the ISS are paving the way for future applications in space exploration and healthcare. As the industry continues to evolve, we can expect more groundbreaking achievements that will revolutionize various sectors.

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In this blog post, we will be discussing a remarkable development in the field of additive manufacturing. Prepare to be amazed as we delve into the fascinating world of Redwire’s BioFabrication Facility. This cutting-edge facility, located on board the International Space Station (ISS), is revolutionizing the way we think about 3D printing.

The featured image captures the splendor of Redwire’s BioFabrication Facility. It serves as a visual reminder of the groundbreaking work being conducted on the ISS. The facility is on a mission to explore the possibilities of bioprinting in microgravity, opening up new frontiers for medical research and healthcare.

By replicating the microgravity environment of space, the BioFabrication Facility enables scientists to fabricate complex structures and tissues with unprecedented precision. This technology has the potential to transform the medical field, paving the way for tailored treatments and personalized medicine.

Imagine a future where organs can be printed on demand, eliminating the need for transplant waiting lists. This may sound like science fiction, but thanks to the enormous strides being made at Redwire’s BioFabrication Facility, it is becoming a reality.

The possibilities are truly endless. With further advancements and refinements, we could potentially print entire human bodies, revolutionizing the field of regenerative medicine. This would not only enhance our understanding of the human body but also provide hope for individuals in need of life-saving interventions.

The work being done at Redwire’s BioFabrication Facility is a testament to the power of collaboration and innovation. It showcases the incredible potential of 3D printing technology and its ability to shape the future of healthcare. As we gaze up at the stars, we are reminded of the limitless possibilities that lie ahead.

In conclusion, the story and logic of the blog post remains the same – highlighting the remarkable work being done at Redwire’s BioFabrication Facility. However, the writing style has been modified to provide a fresh and unique perspective. By approaching the topic in a different way, we can engage readers in a new and exciting manner. So, don’t hesitate to explore the infinite possibilities of additive manufacturing and subscribe to the 3D Printing Industry Youtube channel for a front-row seat to the latest advancements in the field!

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Meet the mastermind behind NozzleNerds.com: GCode-Guru, a 3D printing wizard whose filament collection rivals their sock drawer. Here to demystify 3D tech with a mix of expert advice, epic fails, and espresso-fueled rants. If you've ever wondered how to print your way out of a paper bag (or into a new coffee cup), you're in the right place. Dive into the world of 3D printing with us—where the only thing more abundant than our prints is our sarcasm.

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