Industry spends billions of dollars each year on machine tools to manufacture products out of metal. This includes tools for cutting every kind of metal part from engine blocks to Shuttle main engine components. Cutting tool tips often break because of weak spots or defects in their composition. Based on a new concept called defect trapping, space offers a novel environment to study defect formation in molten metal materials as they solidify. After the return of these materials from space, researchers can evaluate the source of the defect and seek ways to eliminate them in products prepared on Earth. A widely used process for cutting tip manufacturing is liquid phase sintering. Compared to Earth-sintered samples which slump due to buoyancy induced by gravity, space samples are uniformly shaped and defects remain where they are formed. By studying metals sintered in space the US tool industry can potentially enhance its worldwide competitiveness. The Consortium for Materials Development in Space along with Wyle Labs, Teledyne Advanced Materials, and McDornell Douglas have conducted experiments in space.