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3D print your own Moon Base

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    evildictait​or
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    Richard.Hein

    Awesome ... I've been waiting over 15 years for this kind of plan. http://discovermagazine.com/1995/oct/robotbuildthysel569 Auxon

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    magicalclick

    This would actually work. Almost like Eskimo style =)

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    Sven Groot

    It's interesting. Between the end of the Space Shuttle program, the Project Constellation debacle, the US's current lack of manned launch capacity, the question marks surrounding commercial launching, and NASA's general lack of a firm direction, there are still quite a lot really interesting concepts like this coming around that make me hopeful that we could be entering the most exciting time in human space flight since Apollo in the next few decades.

    Here's hoping. Big Smile

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    cheong
    Recent Achievement unlocked: Code Avenger Tier 4/6: You see dead program. A lot!
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    Dr Herbie

    That's OK, Sven's brain is huge. He could spend the rest of his life on the moon and only in his 80s would he be down to the level of an average human.

    Not sure about his eyes, though.

    Herbie

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    Sven Groot

    My vision is already -4.5 on both eyes. So, not much left to lose so I might as well chance it. Tongue Out

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    Bass

    Before they think of doing this technology on the moon, they gotta perfect it back home. And you know, 3D printing structures is revolutionary in its own right.

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    kettch

    @Bass: It might be easier to print structures that can withstand 1/6 earth normal gravity, but yeah, 3D printing in general is spectacular.

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    blowdart

    "INSERT LETTER"

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    evildictait​or

    , kettch wrote

    @Bass: It might be easier to print structures that can withstand 1/6 earth normal gravity, but yeah, 3D printing in general is spectacular.

    It might be 1/6 less gravity, but it does have high energy radiation and micro-asteroids to deal with., so I'm not sure it's all that much easier than building stuff on Earth.

    The cool thing about NASA being interested in it is it puts some serious research and funding into 3D printing which will make having star-trek-esque replicators that much closer to reality here on Earth.

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    magicalclick

    I think the challenge is completely different. You,are using moon sand instead of plastic particles. The gravity is lighter, thus, the printing may need different calibration. The dry up time also my be different on different atmosphere. And finally, it is a large scale printing, meaning the construction path must support iterative upward steps. I think it requires hybrid like printing and wallE.

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    kettch

    @evildictaitor: True. Impacts from small objects is probably the most difficult to protect from.

    I've seen 3D printing done with metals and concretes, so a preliminary step is going to be to figure out a reliable method of automated mining for both minerals and water.

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    evildictait​or

    @kettch: Water should be a bit easier because you can at least recycle it, but yes, obtaining the rock powder in a high enough quality form for use in a 3D printer is going to be non-trivial.

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    Sven Groot

    , evildictait​or wrote

    @kettch: Water should be a bit easier because you can at least recycle it, but yes, obtaining the rock powder in a high enough quality form for use in a 3D printer is going to be non-trivial.

    Isn't this idea based on the concept that the printer can use regolith? You know, the stuff that the entire surface of the moon is covered with.

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    kettch

    @Sven Groot: Obtaining the regolith is trivial, however, ensuring that you can gather and process it consistently is more challenging. Depending on other requirements for the location, you'd have to set up your processing facility in an area that contained the right mix of materials to provide the highest quality product.

    Obviously you aren't going to end up Portland cement, but I suppose it's possible to end up with something that does the job.

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    Harlequin

    Interesting moon-base movie I haven't seen yet...have to check it out, called Moon: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1182345/

    Sam Rockwell's character is on the moon for a 3 year contract Smiley

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    Bass

    @kettch:

    Yep, this sort of thing would be incredibly revolutionary/useful on planet Earth as well. Eg: TED video:

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