3D printing has the potential to go places, like the moon for instance. The European Space Agency (ESA) has commissioned several architecture firms to see if buildings can be 3D printed on the moon using lunar soil.
It may sound insane, but it means that we could potentially colonize this cosmic neighbor of ours and build structures without having to export the materials there. London-based architects Foster + Partners imagined a home for four people which uses a D-Shape printer—the same one being used to build the first 3D printed house—to spray on layers of lunar soil on top of inflatable domes. This would not only give lunar travelers a solid roof over their heads, but also shield them from from space radiation too.
The idea is based on the fact that large structures have been built on earth using the D-Shape printer using layers of sand, so similar principles could be applied to the moon and its surface, with the lunar poles offering the most favorable climate. “The 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,” the ESA says.
3D printed lunar base
The base will feature a weight-bearing dome design with cellular-structured walls.