NASA 3d-Printed Habitat Challenge

Year: 2015

Type: International Competition, NASA 3d-Printed Habitat Challenge

Collaboration: Space is More, Wrocław University of Science and Technology, 3dlTech, Zieta Prozessdesign

Team: Leszek Orzechowski, Agata Mintus, Konrad Gruber, Piotr Gruber, Maciej Dziewiecki, Aleksander Tuzik, Aleksander Gorgolewski, Szymon Gryś, Michał Olejarczyk, Dorota Budzyń

Topics: Martian habitat, 3d printing, in-situ resources utilization (ISRU)

The objective of the project was to propose a 3d printing technology for constructing on Mars from in-situ resources using CNC cladding. The essential factor was to incorporate feasibility and utilitarity of the solution both, in terms of 3d printing technology and habitat design. To support the energy and resources supplies, Gale Crater was chosen as the location of the design. It is close to the Martian equator, which benefits the mission in several ways, including amount of solar energy, low elevation (thicker atmosphere) and relatively robust data from Curiosity rover for precise site selection and resources evaluation. 

We believe that the proposed 3d-printing technology can help construct habitat that is not only safe, but also comfortable and easy to build. Rover based printer is a feasible solution and a great opportunity for human/agent cooperation. Our 3D printer is using selected mars regolith fractions as building material, so a key task will be to collect and sieve regolith. A special rover, equipped in a shovel, properly shaped effector and a layered sieving system could be able to collect and sieve the material on the way to the construction site.

The structure carrying the printer and nozzle uses the inflatable steel pipes technology of Zieta Prozessdesign. It allows for both vertical and tilted layering of the material. Those elements are also used as the roof reinforcement to increase the mechanical strength of the habitat’s structure.