4/25/2013: Began work on Helios Challenge
The project began by testing paper shredders and meat grinders for the purpose of breaking down plastic so that it can me more easily melted when it enters the extruder.
Shredding, Grinding, and Melting Plastic (HDPE)
Milk Jug Plastic (HDPE) After Shredding and Grinding
Melting Milk Jug Plastic (HDPE)
Measuring Temperature of Hot Plate and Melting Plastic
NASA is currently working with local Makerspaces on solving the future problem of space exploration and here at home. For the pilot run of this collaboration an exciting challenge was selected involving using space trash (used plastic food packaging) recycled into 3D printer media to create parts for use in situ applications. The inaugural challenge is titled HTC-01: Cost-effective Additive Manufacturing in Space. Please navigate through the tabs and download the “Challenge Guide” to learn more about it. Those of you willing to take on this challenge are encouraged to visit the Forum and Wiki Page and express your ideas and solutions regarding this challenge. The goal of this site is to promote discussions on potential ideas and build a body of knowledge that could advance this future in-space technology. An event is currently being planned that will bring NASA, Hackerspace members, and other participants to present and discuss the resulting work generated from this collaborative experiment.
Welcome to the collaborative environment for the HELIOS Technology Challenge Program. Please navigate though the tabs above and view the Vodcast Series and Inaugural Challenge to learn more about this experimental NASA Program. If you are interested in participating, create a profile to post on the Forum and edit the Wiki Page; otherwise, you are welcome to enjoy the Photos, Videos of other information generated by participating individuals and teams as they tackle the inaugural challenge. Also visit nasa.gov/helios for more information on this and other NASA programs.
As NASA renews its commitment to deep space exploration, new ways must be sought out to make the process of developing required technologies more cost-effective. Recognizing the valuable problem solving potential that exists in the American public, the HELIOS Technology Challenge Pilot Program was created in 2012 by a small group of NASA employees as an experiment in collaboration. HELIOS stands for Hardware Engineering Launchpad Inspired by Open Source. The principal goal of this low-cost, no-frills project is to promote cost-effective innovation and collaboration with the public in the development of open source-friendly, early stage concept-type technology. HELIOS is not a multi-million dollar project but rather an ultra-low cost experiment in open source hardware engineering with a specific audience in mind. The program establishes a virtual pathway that enables NASA “Challenge Champions” to collaborate with Hackerspace, Makerspace, citizen inventors, and DIY communities in the solving of space technology related problems. The HELIOS Technology Challenge Pilot Program is based on three core principles: cost-effective innovation, a collaborative work environment and open source-based idea ownership. HELIOS is not about fancy and exotic solutions. It’s about developing simple, low-cost ideas that get small practical jobs done.