Een interessant project van de European Space Agency – ESA, die 3d printtechnologie wil gebruiken om een maanbasis te printen uit maanstof om zo de maan bewoonbaar te maken.
En hier het originele artikel van ESA.int
BUILDING A LUNAR BASE WITH 3D PRINTING
Setting up a lunar base could be made much simpler by using a 3D printer to build it from local materials. Industrial partners including renowned architects Foster + Partners have joined with ESA to test the feasibility of 3D printing using lunar soil.
â€œTerrestrial 3D printing technology has produced entire structures,â€ said Laurent Pambaguian, heading the project for ESA.
â€œOur industrial team investigated if it could similarly be employed to build a lunar habitat.â€
Foster + Partners devised a weight-bearing â€˜catenaryâ€™ dome design with a cellular structured wall to shield against micrometeoroids and space radiation, incorporating a pressurised inflatable to shelter astronauts.
A hollow closed-cell structure â€“ reminiscent of bird bones â€“ provides a good combination of strength and weight.
â€œThe new possibilities this work opens up can then be considered by international space agencies as part of the current development of a common exploration strategy.â€
The UKâ€™s Monolite supplied the D-Shape printer, with a mobile printing array of nozzles on a 6 m frame to spray a binding solution onto a sand-like building material.
â€œFirst, we needed to mix the simulated lunar material with magnesium oxide. This turns it into â€˜paperâ€™ we can print with,â€ explained Monolite founder Enrico Dini.
â€œThen for our structural â€˜inkâ€™ we apply a binding salt which converts material to a stone-like solid.
â€œOur current printer builds at a rate of around 2 m per hour, while our next-generation design should attain 3.5 m per hour, completing an entire building in a week.â€