Technology will see lunar soil layers built up in a pre-determined design, this system will work like a giant 3D printer using a nozzle and movable gantry that could create curved walls and architecture that is ‘exotic’ and ‘beautiful’ aside from buildings in space.
The innovation could have applications in creating simple homes in disaster zones or slum areas. Creating structures in space that astronauts can live in has become a priority for Nasa.
With a manned mission to Mars on the agenda, and plans for lunar exploration underway, scientists are increasingly looking towards unconventional construction methods.
The most promising of these is 3D printing, which could make building a lunar home in space a matter of pressing a button and letting a robot do the work.
NASA has now provided funding to the University of Southern California to develop a specific 3D printing technique known as Contour Crafting.
According to researchers, Contour Crafting could allow computer-controlled machines to build houses within 24 hours.
The layered fabrication technology sees concrete or other material such as lunar soil, applied in a pre-determined design by a nozzle on a moveable gantry
The theory is that 90 per cent of the materials needed to build the structure that already exists on the Moon.
The few parts that would need to be made on Earth would be folded from a tubular module that can be transported by space rocket.
Professor Behrokh Khoshnevis from the University of Southern California claims that Contour Crafting construction methods can build entire lunar houses with all the fixtures and fittings.
The nature of the technology means it will also be possible to create curved walls and architecture that is both ‘exotic’ and ‘beautiful’, according to Professor Khoshnevis.
Aside from creating buildings in space, the innovation could have applications in building simple homes in disaster zones or slum areas.
It could also be used to print out customized luxury homes, Professor Khoshnevis said.