3D Printing our future in space and on Earth
Setting up a future lunar base could be made by using a 3D printer to build it. ESA is working with industrial partners to verify this and using lunar soil – and to use bionic design.
At the TEDxESA Science Beyond Fiction event in ESTEC, The Netherlands, some time ago ESA engineer Tommaso Ghidini talked about 3D printing both in space and on Earth, and how that can revolutionize the world.
“Suppose you want to go to the Moon today, and you want to go there to build a Moon base,” he opened his TEDxESA talk by saying.
This is a bit complicated, if not impossible, as you need personnel, tools, and material, as if you were building a house on Earth, and you have to send it all to the Moon.
“Unless you do something completely different. You send a 3D printer to the Moon, and uses the dust that is already on the Moon.”
“This sounds a bit like a science fiction movie. Well, we did it already!”
3D printed Moon base
“We have already a 3D printed 1.5 ton Moon base demonstrator, using moon regolith. Actually using a imitation of moon regolith, because when Neil Armstrong went to the Moon he brought back a sample.
"We duplicated it here on Earth, and then we did it, 3D printed [a sample piece for a Moon base].”
Below you can hear his exciting TEDxESA talk on how ESA is working on how to build a Moon base by 3D printing it, on how a 3D printer for plastics is already on the International Space Station to fabricate spare parts and that soon one can even 3D print humane organs.
But we need to apply bionics to our design, do like mother nature do, he emphasised.
Watch video below
Do not miss out on Tommaso Ghidini´s talk, it's an eye-opener.
Read more about building a 3D printed Luna base here.