3d Printing In Space
Well you have to hand it to a joint effort between MakerBot and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab. They are keen to deliver some real firsts and put 3d Printing on Mars.
If you think about it, it does make a lot of sense. The trip to Mars is looking like a one way ticket. Yes, you hear correctly. Due to the shear weight of fuel required to get anything to Mars and land it there, the logistics make it unviable to ship enough fuel for a return trip. So, what does that mean? Well, you are going to need to be completely self sufficient. Yes, here comes 3d Printing on Mars.
So the team at MakerBot have seen the opportunity that 3d Printing presents to any future NASA Mars Mission. Yes, that’s right put some nice 3d Printers up there on Mars and you have a heck of an asset.
OMG What To Do? 3d Printing To The Rescue!!
Let’s say our Mars toilet seat breaks, no problem. Just melt it down, pop it into the extruder hopper and print a new one. Now that’s progress!
MakerBot NASA 3d Design Community Challenge
A challenge was put out to the MakerBot 3d Printing Design community to share designs for the Mars venture. This resulted in at least 228 original designs being uploaded to Thingiverse. (The Thingiverse platform / database was created to allow sharing of 3d Designs for Printing.)
Check out the The Queen B (Bioshielding) 2 Bedroom 2 Bath Mars Apartment. by Noah Hornberger below:
Check out the full outline of the Queen Bee Here.
What a nice design! Not to mention the fact that the roof is fabricated out of depleted uranium as a bio shield. (I wonder if anyone did the math on the fuel required to ship depleted Uranium to Mars? Anyhow, nice design.) Not sure whether we have the ability to do that sort of “3d Printing on Mars” as yet!
How cool would it be to have a nice big replicator up there and just push print and watch the habitats roll of the end of the machine? I bet that upsets Ikea’s plans to shuttle flat packs to Mars!
3d Printing On Mars – Conclusion
Well, it would seem that it is inevitable that 3d Printing will be an integral part of the survival story of any Mars expedition.
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