Our space travel is currently dependent on material and manufacturing that takes place on Earth. Currently nearly everything that is launched to Earth orbit or beyond can be used only once. This approach not only makes us dependent on the proximity of Earth but is also unsustainable and wastes valuable resources and material. The project proposes new design principles for space missions based on minimizing material wastage and building towards self-sustaining space constructs.

This project is solving the Space Cadets challenge.


What is SpaceMade? This project outlines a design approach and technological roadmap towards the long-term goal of self-sustaining, self-replicating space stations, colonies including orbital and deep space factories that require minimal external material and energy input as well as nearly no human intervention in order to function and expand themselves.

To validate our design principles we propose an early space fabrication hardware concept called SpaceMade. SpaceMade uses additive manufacturing (3D printing) to attain the highest rate of material reusability as well as independence of operation for a feasible near Earth orbit space dock.

How does SpaceMade work? SpaceMade is an off-Earth manufacturing concept for automated and modular manufacturing of space scaffolding, outer shells for space modules, satellite casings and other such end products, that can be fitted with the required “vitamin parts” to work and have their end-of-life management handled without scrapping or reorbiting.

SpaceMade relies heavily on the idea of reusing any parts and materials through a system of end-of-life management and material recycling.

The Process 1. When parts approach the end of their life due to wear and tear, they are picked apart by the recycling robot, dismantled into elements in the black box melting oven and then sent off to storage. The dismantling involves all necessary steps from melting and chopping to cleaning the materials.

  1. When new parts are needed, the elements are moved from the storage to the 3D printer which produces the parts. The printer may use liquid metals and plastics in creating the components.

  2. Completed pieces are removed from the printer by a robot on the roof. The pieces are served to autonomous robot skates that grab a hold of a piece and start transporting it via the rails towards the location where they are needed. Once a piece has been transported, the skate returns to the printer to wait for a new piece.

  3. The assembly robot, RailDroid assembles the new module piece by piece from the printed parts effectively creating more room for itself. The robot moves on rails autonomously, thus the name RailDroid, allowing it to roam free from the original module it arrived with. This is essential for the robot to be able to expand the space station or planetary habitat it is working on. The pieces are transported to the assembly robot by the robotic skates that collect the new pieces from the printer, allowing even more freedom and time effectiveness for the RailDroid.

Where can SpaceMade be used?

SpaceMade being a design concept, it can be used in orbit, on deep space flights or on the surface of solid celestial bodies.

Project Information

License: Academic Free License 3.0 (AFL-3.0)

Source Code/Project URL:



  • Piia Kuosmanen
  • Voitto Kangas
  • Rafael Linnankoski
  • Roope Nortia