Every few months from Earth to the ISS once sent a spaceship with a load of useful things to the ISS and the astronauts. Tools, equipment, parts, clothing, food, water - all this must be delivered to the station. The total weight of such a premise is typically about 2 tons.
Many of the tools and parts - unique. At the station there is some margin the most necessary parts and tools, but the volume of the station can not keep everything doubles useful things. And if something breaks, the astronauts have to wait weeks or months until the spare part delivered to the ISS. Not so long ago proposed an original solution: a 3D printer to deliver astronauts to the stock plastic to the ISS could create tools and parts to replace the failed without waiting for the reaction of the Earth.
The idea was accepted, and a couple of months ago astronauts got
own 3D printer. Naturally, no one knows how it will work in a midget gravity (suppose it is possible, but the check is always needed). That is why the first stage of a 3D printer to the ISS is the printout of test samples and send them to Earth. Here experts will check the quality of each part, and then it will be clear whether you can use a 3D printer in orbit to create spare parts for various systems and other objects of the printout.
The other day, sending the samples arrived on Earth, NASA workers and print it out, put the video of the "Unboxing".