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Space

Submission + - ESA proposes 3D printing on the moon (theregister.co.uk)

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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ESA proposes 3D printing on the moon

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"Today's robots are very primitive, capable of understanding only a few simple instructions such as 'go left', 'go right', and 'build car'." --John Sladek

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