Lori Zimmer

Sinterhab's 3D-Printed Space Station on the Moon Would Be Made from Lunar Soil

by , 03/13/13



green design, eco design, sustainable design, foster + partners, Sinterhab, 3d Printed space station, Tomas Rousek, Katarina Eriksson, Dr. Ondrej Doule, NASA, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Lunar station

The key ingredient to Sinterhab’s space station is lunar soil, which would be transformed into a ceramic-like material called regolith with a microwave-sinter process. NASA robots would print the structures on site, and bond them together with a heating process, saving on energy since no glue would need to be sent from Earth.

Based on the geometric formation of bubbles in nature, the sides of the structures will be made up of equally-sized flat walls that fit together, joining edge-by-edge to form perfect dome-like structures. The six-legged ALTHETE robot by NASA would build the space station, which was developed using the Microwave Sinterator Freeform Additive Construction System.

By using the moon’s natural resource — its own soil — Sinterhab’s project has far less impact than hauling more materials from Earth, which also enables a larger base to be built. If fully developed, Sinterhab hopes the system will enable humans to build entire 3D-printed cities on the moon’s surface, using solar energy to power the robots.

+ Sinterhab 

Via Dezeen

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2 Comments

  1. David Forbus March 17, 2013 at 12:36 am

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ptUj8JRAYu8

    This the concept using sand and a lens.

  2. Eclectic MJ March 14, 2013 at 6:28 pm

    Lunar regolith is the base “soil” of the moon. It is really fine powder like talcum powder. Sintering basically focuses heat to partially melt this regolith so that the particles glue together into a solid form. Focus solar energy into a laserlike beam and you can sweepp the beam backward and forward like the print head of an inkjet printer biulding up the 3D form in layers of regolith. Brilliant use of local materials and abundant free energy using an emerging technology.

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