iComp writes "One of the challenges with constructing a moon base is the extravagant expenditure needed to boost the necessary materials from Earth. The European Space Agency is now considering an alternative proposal: feeding moon rock to a 3D printer.
Architecture firm Foster + Partners has designed a concept demonstration suggesting it just may be feasible, turning a 1.5-tonne block into a simulated building. Using a 3D printer from UK company Monolite, a mobile printing array of nozzles sprayed materials onto a six meter frame using simulated lunar material.
The material was mixed with magnesium oxide to create a “‘paper’ we can print with”, says Monolite’s founder Enrico Dini. “Then for our structural ‘ink’ we apply a binding salt which converts material to a stone-like solid.”"
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