Introduction

      Acoustic Shaping technology could be the new forefront of space-based manufacturing.  This new method uses sound fields in micro-gravity to conform materials into a desired shape and allow them to harden, allowing for parts and equipment to be built in space.  With such advancements in mind, it is possible to imagine intricate sound field tailoring schemes, to form desired internal structures with specific materials to create an exciting field of manufacturing. Stretching the imagination, we may one day be able to learn how to form ("grow") complex internal structures such as those in living beings. On a simpler, more practical level, one can imagine shoes and clothing custom designed to a precision fit. With acoustic shaping, all that is needed to go from one shape of mold to the other is simply changing the sound input, which will thus alter the locations of minimum potential.  Therefore, tests on a sounding rocket and, eventually, the International Space Station will provide necessary results to develop the system further.  It is imperative that sounding rocket tests take place in to improve this new technology and to help mankind make the next big step to life on other planets and outer space.
 

Click here to view a short clip of the microgravity test showing styrofoam pellets (2-3 mm dia) being "shaped" to the chamber normal mode (1 1 0).  View is from a camera outside the plexiglass chamber looking in from a corner view.