Future Engineers 'Star Trek' Replicator Challenge

Status Report From: NASA Education Office
Posted: Sunday, April 10, 2016

Calling all Starfleet cadets! “Star Trek,” the American Society for Mechanical Engineers Foundation and NASA want you to pioneer the future of food in space. Your challenge is to create a digital model of a food-related item for astronauts to 3-D print in the year 2050. We want designs that boldly go where no human has 3-D printed before and that help astronauts eat nutritious meals so they can live long and prosper.

You must specify one of the following locations for your 3-D print: our moon, another planet, another planet’s moon, or a spacecraft beyond low-Earth orbit (explain where it is going and why). You also must specify the intended printing material (feedstock) for your 3-D print. This could be plastic, metal, recycled materials, locally sourced material, or any nonedible, 3-D printing feedstock you think would advance human space exploration.

Eating a meal in space goes beyond the actual food itself — from growing food to devouring it. There are many things to consider, so check out our rules, design guidelines and education resources before to starting your design.

Student winners will receive a range of prizes, including a trip to New York for a tour of the space shuttle Enterprise at the Intrepid Museum with an astronaut, a 3-D printer for the winners’ schools or a “Star Trek” prize pack.

Entries are due May 1, 2016. For more information about the challenge and how to enter, visit

Please email questions about this competition to

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