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 2/3  >  >>
NadineJ
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Fascinating
NadineJ   9/16/2012 10:45:09 AM
NO RATINGS
@Ann-If I can carve out the time to do research on this, I'll post anything I find.

Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Fascinating
Ann R. Thryft   9/14/2012 2:49:07 PM
NO RATINGS
Beth, the Mars project--even if only built on the ground during testing--should give some good data for the intended use of the technology, which the website states is emergency and low-cost shelters and/or permanent housing, ads well as commercial buildings. It will be interesting to see the results.

Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Fascinating
Ann R. Thryft   9/14/2012 2:45:21 PM
NO RATINGS
78RPM, I'm with you on that. In the ancient days, we built our own houses with the help of the local community using local materials, and it sure didn't take 30 years.

Beth Stackpole
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Fascinating
Beth Stackpole   9/14/2012 1:44:26 PM
NO RATINGS
The idea of being able to 3D print whole buildings is definitely something that could have huge impact on housing the developing world or even providing respite after disasters like the Japanese earthquake and tsunami and the earthquake in Haiti. I would think it's a fast, reasonably inexpensive way to get shelter up and usable quickly. I hope that this actually can become a reality because the possibilities are pretty unbelievable.

78RPM
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Fascinating
78RPM   9/14/2012 1:32:53 PM
NO RATINGS
Yes, Ann, manufacturing buildings fascinated me too. Why should it take a family 30 years to pay for a house? 3D AM from local materials might be the answer to prosperity for the whole world.

Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Fascinating
Ann R. Thryft   9/14/2012 12:36:14 PM
NO RATINGS
Nadine, I haven 't seen a MIS video. Let us know if you find one.

Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: 3D printing has come a long way
Ann R. Thryft   9/14/2012 12:35:00 PM
NO RATINGS
Chuck, I agree. I consider my discovery of the Contour Crafting website a highlight of my AM reporting so far this year.

Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Concerns about extreme Cold
Ann R. Thryft   9/14/2012 12:34:30 PM
NO RATINGS
Jim, thanks for that experimental info. I've read elsewhere that one big inhibitor to date for using AM techniques in aerospace is the lack of resistance of the materials to temperature extremes, especially high temps. OTOH, high-end AM materials are not just for making prototypes anymore--they're increasingly used for low-end aerospace production components, as we've covered here http://www.designnews.com/document.asp?doc_id=236261 But since Stratasys' FDM is being used on test parts for Mars rovers, NASA must believe it's possible to overcome those limitations. Also, other materials have worked successfully on non-interior aircraft parts, usually processed with various forms of SLS.

NadineJ
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Fascinating
NadineJ   9/14/2012 1:11:25 AM
NO RATINGS
The Contour Crafting does look very cool. Is there any video from Made in Space. It would be great to see their anti-gravity tests.

Charles Murray
User Rank
Blogger
Re: 3D printing has come a long way
Charles Murray   9/13/2012 6:07:10 PM
NO RATINGS
To me, the most amazing thing is that this technology could be used to build "infrastructure, such as roads and landing pads." It's one thing to build components that have to handl light mechanical stresses. It's another to build structural components that have to handle big loads.

<<  <  Page 2/3  >  >>
Partner Zone
More Blogs from Engineering Materials
In this slideshow's latest crop of new bio-based and renewable plastics and methods for making them, some materials can even be completely recycled several times without loss of original properties.
It's probably too late to buy one, but some lucky people will soon be the owners of only 50 electric motorcycles made entirely with 3D printing from a super-lightweight aluminum alloy.
Oak Ridge National Laboratory has developed a surface preparation method to improve joining carbon composites with aluminum, with potentially far-reaching ramifications for high-volume industrial applications.
Our latest crop includes ABS alternatives, tougher PLAs, flexible plastics including a flexible nylon, polymers with better heat resistance, and the first biocompatible resin for desktop 3D printing.
New and improved fastening methods are helping engineers join plastics, composites, and thinner metal sheets in a variety of product assemblies.
Quick Poll
The Continuing Education Center offers engineers an entirely new way to get the education they need to formulate next-generation solutions.
SEMESTERS: 1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6 |  7 | 8 | 9


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 Course June 28-30:
Sponsored by Proto Labs
Learn More   |   Login   |   Archived Classes
Twitter Feed
Design News Twitter Feed
Like Us on Facebook

Technology Marketplace

Copyright © 2016 UBM Canon, A UBM company, All rights reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service