D-Shape is pushing the frontiers of space habitation as part of a European Space Agency consortium exploring revolutionary 3D printed moon bases.
The core challenge? Transporting bulky construction materials to the moon is prohibitively expensive. Our solution? Use lunar soil itself as building matter. Moon dust, called regolith, can be 3D printed into structures on-site using a robot-operated printer. This makes lunar living achievable.
D-Shape has designed a pilot lunar base to house four astronauts complete with meteorite protection, radiation shielding and temperature control. The base unfolds from a compact cylinder delivered by rocket. An inflatable dome extends to provide a support skeleton for 3D printing the protective shell.
To maximize strength while minimizing binding “ink,” the shell comprises a groundbreaking hollow closed cell structure. This foamy geometry was bio-inspired by natural systems and developed with partners.
We’ve already 3D printed a 1.5 tonne moon dust simulation and done small-scale vacuum testing to mimic lunar conditions. The planned lunar south pole location ensures near constant sunlight for solar power.
By demonstrating the immense potential of extraterrestrial 3D printing, D-Shape is making sci-fi into reality. Let’s discuss how this technology can launch your own cosmic visions into the future. The sky is not the limit when materials lie ready underfoot.
With thanks: Foster+ Partners/ Alta / Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna / Monolite UK