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Thanks to new technologies developed by space experts, metal components of spacecraft and nuclear reactors can be 'printed' as a whole.
3D printing is often used in manufacturing, but so far it is mainly limited to making plastic objects.
The European Space Agency (ESA) says its approach can be used to make shapes that are more complex than conventional technology, leaving little scrap left.
'This new technology offers many advantages,' it said.
'3D printing, officially called additive manufacturing, can create complex shapes that cannot be made by traditional casting and processing techniques.
'There is almost no waste of materials, and reducing the number of steps in the manufacturing chain can bring huge cost benefits.
'The agency says it is working with the European Union and industry and education partners to develop the first large-
Large-scale production methods using this technology.
ESA has shown several samples at an event in London that can withstand temperatures of up to 1, 000C (1, 832F.
Complex printed parts will be suitable for space and 'the most demanding applications on Earth,' the company said '.
The agency aims to make the parts more durable in the coming years.