HOME  |  NEWS  |  BLOGS  |  MESSAGES  |  FEATURES  |  VIDEOS  |  WEBINARS  |  INDUSTRIES  |  FOCUS ON FUNDAMENTALS
  |  REGISTER  |  LOGIN  |  HELP
Blogs
Engineering Materials
Slideshow: 3D Printing Will Go to Mars
9/13/2012

Image 1 of 10      Next >

NASA-funded research by University of Southern California professors Behrokh Khoshnevis, Madhu Thangavelu, Neil Leach, and Anders Carlson is exploring how structures on the moon can made using the Contour Crafting robot. Under NASA's Innovative Advanced Concepts program, the researchers aim to develop methods for creating infrastructure, such as roads and landing pads, to support human settlement on the moon. The technology can create structures in situ from local materials, which is especially important for long-term, continuously expanding operations on the moon. For example, the team is exploring a nozzle system that heats lunar soil into a cement-like paste. In this visualization by Behnaz Farahi and Connor Wingfield, a lander descends on a pad fabricated by the Contour Crafting robot. (Source: University of Southern California/Contour Crafting)
NASA-funded research by University of Southern California professors Behrokh Khoshnevis, Madhu Thangavelu, Neil Leach, and Anders Carlson is exploring how structures on the moon can made using the Contour Crafting robot. Under NASA's Innovative Advanced Concepts program, the researchers aim to develop methods for creating infrastructure, such as roads and landing pads, to support human settlement on the moon. The technology can create structures in situ from local materials, which is especially important for long-term, continuously expanding operations on the moon. For example, the team is exploring a nozzle system that heats lunar soil into a cement-like paste. In this visualization by Behnaz Farahi and Connor Wingfield, a lander descends on a pad fabricated by the Contour Crafting robot.
(Source: University of Southern California/Contour Crafting)

Image 1 of 10      Next >

Return to Article

View Comments: Newest First|Oldest First|Threaded View
Page 1/3  >  >>
anelinamartin
User Rank
Silver
Re: Fascinating
anelinamartin   6/11/2013 4:43:04 AM
NO RATINGS
As we all know printers are the good source for data collection. Its a good step . Don't know what about the performance testing of printer on mars but. Its a good step. 

Elizabeth M
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Fascinating
Elizabeth M   3/6/2013 7:03:21 AM
NO RATINGS
Just had a look on this story for one I'm writing now about a 3D-printed lunar base...this is pretty amazing and I'm continuously impressed by what NASA and space scientists are devising. Just the idea of being a space scientist in and of itself is quite cool! I do hope NASA can pull some of this stuff off despite its financial woes. I suppose the influx of commercial influence and funds will help. Perhaps it's a bit frivolous and not necessarily for the benefit of mankind in general to have such high space aspriations, but I like it anyway. :)

Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: LCA for the Universe?
Ann R. Thryft   9/27/2012 12:14:08 PM
NO RATINGS
Rob_Krebs, glad you're enjoying the slideshow. I think that's a good point about what CAD designs to bring and transmitting the files you forgot by wireless comms. LCA and environmental impacts in space? We don't seem to have done much on that end yet, considering how much space junk we've left out there. Thanks--your points are well taken, although first we've got to actually build some of these things.

Rob_Krebs
User Rank
Iron
LCA for the Universe?
Rob_Krebs   9/26/2012 3:21:34 PM
NO RATINGS
Thank you Anne Thryt for this amazing article. Brilliant, of course this is the enventuality of 3-D printing. (Dope slap to myself) If you were going to Mars and had a 3-D printer what plans would you bring to print? Trick question: They will send you all the plans you need via CAD files on the earth net!!! Do environmental impacts (LCA) of buildings in the future now have to consider impacts of the building on the universe!?   ;-} More at http://www.greenbuildingsolutions.org 

Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: 3D printing: a replicator, perhaps?
Ann R. Thryft   9/18/2012 12:00:11 PM
NO RATINGS
William, that's Contour Crafting making buildings with dirt and similar materials. And here's another AM manufacturer that wants to make buildings with a 3D printer, called D-Shape: http://www.d-shape.com/cose.htm

William K.
User Rank
Platinum
Re: 3D printing: a replicator, perhaps?
William K.   9/17/2012 10:03:45 PM
NO RATINGS
A 3D printer that could use soil or "dirt" would be more amazing than the basic concept of a 3D printer! FRom the descriptions of how the various ones work, it is a challenge to imagine using dirt as a feedstock. So if any details on that sort of system become available they would be real news.

JimT@Future-Product-Innovations
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Concerns about extreme Cold
JimT@Future-Product-Innovations   9/17/2012 2:29:36 PM
NO RATINGS
Yes, Ann; you and I have discussed several times previously the history of Rapid Proto methods, especially going way back to 3D Systems' first SLAs in the late 1980's.  But I am new to SLS prototyping (just this year) and have been Very Impressed with this material's robustness as a prototype; you can get parts just as fast as conventional SLA, but the material properties are astoundingly better.  I still have a lot to learn about them, but as I discovered, this SLS is TOUGH STUFF!

Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: 3D printing: a replicator, perhaps?
Ann R. Thryft   9/17/2012 12:15:53 PM
NO RATINGS
William, I think those are very good points: power and material sources. However, in the case of Contour Crafting, it's designed to use naturally occurring materials, such as various forms of soil. The power concerns, however, remain.

TJ McDermott
User Rank
Blogger
Making space commonplace
TJ McDermott   9/16/2012 11:29:08 PM
NO RATINGS
How will the astronauts demonstrate their creativity if tools can be printed, instead of being jury-rigged from tape and spare manuals?

Seriously, this could save a mission in the "...for lack of a nail..." sense.

Contour Crafting Robot is the first of the large-format 3D printers.

 

William K.
User Rank
Platinum
3D printing: a replicator, perhaps?
William K.   9/16/2012 3:02:21 PM
NO RATINGS
Shades of Star Trek and the ever present replicators, that usually produced food ready to eat. I do have some concerns about where the feed material, with it's fairly demanding characteristics, comes from. Of course, native soil on the moon and on Mars may have properties that make it suitable for the process, but they might not.  And draqgging along the raw materials will be as heavy as bringing finished parts. MY other concern is about where the energy to fuse the powder into objects will come from. Deveoping enough heat to fuse materials does take a fair amount of heat.and that power needs to come from some place. So the additive manufacturing machine in space has some real challenges ahead for it. On earth, of course, the situation is totally different, except the question of where the materials come from is still to be answered. Possibly some version that uses course feedstock will be invented.

Page 1/3  >  >>
Partner Zone
More Blogs from Engineering Materials
The biggest robot swarm to date is made of 1,000 Kilobots, which can follow simple rules to autonomously assemble into predetermined shapes. Hardware and software are open-source.
Although plastics make up only about 11% of all US municipal solid waste, many are actually more energy-dense than coal. Converting these non-recycled plastics into energy with existing technologies could reduce US coal consumption, as well as boost domestic energy reserves, says a new study.
This year's Dupont-sponsored WardsAuto survey of automotive designers and other engineers shows lightweighting dominates the discussion. But which materials will help them meet the 2025 CAFE standards are not entirely clear.
Artificially created metamaterials are already appearing in niche applications like electronics, communications, and defense, says a new report from Lux Research. How quickly they become mainstream depends on cost-effective manufacturing methods, which will include additive manufacturing.
SpaceX has 3D printed and successfully hot-fired a SuperDraco engine chamber made of Inconel, a high-performance superalloy, using direct metal laser sintering (DMLS). The company's first 3D-printed rocket engine part, a main oxidizer valve body for the Falcon 9 rocket, launched in January and is now qualified on all Falcon 9 flights.
Design News Webinar Series
7/23/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
7/17/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
6/25/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
5/13/2014 10:00 a.m. California / 1:00 p.m. New York / 6:00 p.m. London
Quick Poll
The Continuing Education Center offers engineers an entirely new way to get the education they need to formulate next-generation solutions.
Sep 8 - 12, Get Ready for the New Internet: IPv6
SEMESTERS: 1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6


Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.
Next Class: September 30 - October 2
Sponsored by Altera
Learn More   |   Login   |   Archived Classes
Twitter Feed
Design News Twitter Feed
Like Us on Facebook

Sponsored Content

Technology Marketplace

Copyright © 2014 UBM Canon, A UBM company, All rights reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service