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
BMW has already incorporated more than 10,000 3D-printed parts in the Rolls-Royce Phantom and intends to expand the use of 3D printing in its cars even more in the future. Meanwhile, Daimler has started using additive manufacturing for producing spare parts in Mercedes-Benz Trucks.
SABIC's lightweighting polycarbonate glazing materials have appeared for the first time in a production car: the rear quarter window of Toyota's special edition 86 GRMN sports car, where they're saving 50% of its weight compared to conventional glass.
Design engineers play a big role in selecting both suppliers and materials for their designs. Our most recent Design News Materials Survey says they continue to be highly involved, in some ways even more than the last time we asked to peek inside their cubicles.
Daihatsu is one of the first carmakers to customize car exteriors using 3D printing's mass customization capabilities. Effect Skins -- small exterior bumper and fender panels in different colors and textures -- can be ordered for its Copen convertible.
Several new products in this group of new adhesives, coatings, and sealants are formulated to protect sensitive electronic components, or to seal components of commercial and military aircraft. Others are designed to operate in tough, messy, dirty oil & gas operations, or for rotary applications and motors.
Quick Poll
The Continuing Education Center offers engineers an entirely new way to get the education they need to formulate next-generation solutions.
Jul 11 - 15, Embedded System Design Techniques™ - Debugging Real-time Embedded Software – Hands on
SEMESTERS: 1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6 |  7 | 8 | 9 | 10


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.
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