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An Assessment Of The Conditions Needed For 3D Printing A Village On The Moon
- Nov 22, 2018 -

For years, the European space agency (ESA) has been talking seriously about building a habitable village on the moon, and 3D printing is an important part of that plan.Because building materials can't be transported on spacecraft, building a habitat on the moon requires 3D printing with materials on the lunar surface.In a paper titled "making additions to the moon," a team of researchers looked at the feasibility of 3d printing structures on the moon and what 3d printing technology might be used to do.

This paper proposes five different structural concepts:

Inflatable spherical shell with an internal structure cage to support floors, walls and equipment

Cluster pillow is a kind of structure concept, which is composed of quilted aeration pressure tension structure made of fiber composite material

The lunar base cable structure in the crater will take advantage of natural features on the moon to reduce the amount of excavation and shielding required

The main structure of three-hinge arch is an effective way to meet the structural requirements

Lunar lava tubes, which will involve construction below the lunar surface

The researchers discussed the idea of using a native resource or layer of weathering found on the moon.Many simulations have been done, and 3D printing structures are made from materials similar to those naturally occurring on the lunar surface.

The researchers cite an experiment that Markus Kayser conducted in 2010.Using this method on the moon would require the lunar base to be strategically located in highly sunlit areas, such as the South Pole, proposed by the European space agency.

3D Printing A Village on the Moon