NASA SBIR 2014 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 14-2 H10.01-9479
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Recycling/Reclamation of 3D Printer Plastic for Reuse
PROPOSAL TITLE: Positrusion Filament Recycling System for ISS

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Tethers Unlimited, Inc.
11711 North Creek Parkway South, Suite D113
Bothell, WA 98011 - 8808
(425) 486-0100

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Jesse I Cushing
11711 N. Creek Pkwy S, D113
Bothell, WA 98011 - 8808
(425) 486-0100 Extension :225

CORPORATE/BUSINESS OFFICIAL (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Robert Hoyt
11711 North Creek Parkway South, Suite D113
Bothell, WA 98011 - 8808
(425) 486-0100 Extension :111

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 4
End: 6

Technology Available (TAV) Subtopics
Recycling/Reclamation of 3D Printer Plastic for Reuse is a Technology Available (TAV) subtopic that includes NASA Intellectual Property (IP). Do you plan to use the NASA IP under the award?

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
The Positrusion ISS Recycler enables recycling of scrap and waste plastics into high-quality filament for 3D printers to enable sustainable in-situ manufacturing on the ISS and future deep-space manned missions. In order to minimize astronaut time required for recycling, mitigate safety risks, and improve the quality of product relative to conventional filament extrusion methods, Tethers Unlimited, Inc. (TUI) has developed a novel "Positrusion" method for processing plastic pieces into filament. The Phase I effort successfully demonstrated Positrusion recycling of 3D-printed scrap ABS and Ultem materials back into filament, establishing the technology at TRL-4. Moreover, testing demonstrated that Positrusion achieves order-of-magnitude improvement in filament dimensional quality compared to commercially-available filament, which not only will improve the performance and reliability of ISS 3D printers but also make Positrusion competitive in terrestrial commercial applications, such as recycling plastic wastes in the home and office into useful 3D printer feedstock. The Phase II effort will deliver a complete ISS recycler payload system configured as an EXPRESS locker payload, flight qualified and at TRL-6. The Positrusion payload will provide recycling services aboard the ISS with operations that are as simple, safe, and reliable as a microwave oven, enabling astronauts to place scraps in the machine, push a button, and then move on to other duties while the recycler automatically processes the part into spooled filament.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Positrusion supports NASA's current efforts aboard the ISS as well as in future deep space missions by providing a facility for recycling scrap plastic parts to form high quality 3D printer-ready feedstock to enable on-orbit manufacture of tools, containers, radiation shielding, and mechanical parts. The installation of this facility will provide launch savings by reducing the launched mass required to restock ISS printers, as well as optimizing the amount of raw material required for deep space missions that utilize NASA's 3D printing. The Positrusion system will also enable recycling of packaging materials and other plastic parts into useful filament, reducing the waste mass that must be deorbited by cargo vehicles. Positrusion process also produces superior filament quality than conventional commercial processes, making it ideally suited to supply any NASA needs for terrestrially produced filament. It is also very efficient for small-batch filament production, reducing the costs and schedule for development and qualification of new filament materials.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Positrusion's produces filament of superior quality compared to conventional commercial processes, is well suited to small-batch filament production with zero wasted material, and uses a simple architecture that is more appropriate for operation by regular 3D-printer users. These attributes make it well suited for part recycling applications in consumer and pro-sumer 3D-printer markets TUI plans to target the aerospace, defense, automotive, consumer, and R&D markets for commercialization of the Positrusion plastics recycling technology.

TECHNOLOGY TAXONOMY MAPPING (NASA's technology taxonomy has been developed by the SBIR-STTR program to disseminate awareness of proposed and awarded R/R&D in the agency. It is a listing of over 100 technologies, sorted into broad categories, of interest to NASA.)
In Situ Manufacturing
Processing Methods

Form Generated on 04-14-15 17:14