The idea of living on Mars is no longer just the stuff of science fiction. In fact, one way or another, humans will likely be hanging out on the red planet within the next few decades. But landing there and living there are two very different propositions because, at current prices, it costs anywhere from $100,000 to $200,000 to get one measly kilogram of building material onto Mars. (It’s a good thing that Elon Musk is planning to build a city there, because no one else will be able to afford to.) Fortunately, NASA has a solution – and you can download, print and build your own Martian home in just 24 hours!
Dr. Behrokh Khoshnevis from the University of Southern California is working for NASA to create new technology that will allow people to design and print their own Martian homes. Contour Crafting allows you to 3D print concrete buildings layer by layer in any shape you want, affordably, quickly and easily. Just design your dream home – you can even use curved or straight walls that can either be hollow or solid – print it out in concrete and voila!
Of course, since we won’t be living on Mars anytime soon, the technology can also be a little closer to home in the meantime. In areas that require quick, cheap and safe housing – like those hit by disasters or emerging markets – the technology could be used to rapidly construct housing. And while the technology can’t print glass or steel, it does create an efficient and economic alternative for housing, whether on Mars or right here on Earth.
Images via Contour Crafting