Lunar Base Using 3D Printing

Geo Beats
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3D print sculptures are slated to make an appearance on the moon.

A human-base on the moon sounds like an incredibly complex endeavor.

Remarkably, technology may make it possible for complete lunar base structures to be built using a three-dimensional form of printing.

Recently, the London based architectural firm, Foster and Partners teamed up with the European Space Agency to explore the usage of such technology for lunar bases.

A Foster and Partners representative describes the process stating “The base is first unfolded from a tubular module that can be transported by space rocket. An inflatable dome then extends from one end of this cylinder to provide a support structure for construction. Layers of regolith are then built up over the dome by a robot-operated 3D printer to create a protective shell.”

The architectural company’s printer currently can build at roughly 2 meters per hour but in the future it should be able to get to 3.5 meters in 60 minutes which will allow an entire building to be completed in one week.

The firm is studying the use of lunar soil, or regolith, as building material, and is using sustainable and local material to simulate lunar soil citing environmental benefits.

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