One small step towards 3D print on the moon.
NASA has commissioned Dr. Amit Bandyopadhyay from Washington State University and group of colleagues to test the feasibility of 3D printing using moon rock as the build material. Lacking significant quantities of actual moon rock, they used a simulated moon dust known as “Regolith.” Dr. Bandyopadhyay seems almost giddy in the video, so it seems that the experiment went well.
One of the major obstacles to setting up a base on the moon or elsewhere in space is the enormous cost of bringing material and supplies from Earth. 3D printing seems like the ideal way to produce what is needed on location, thus saving the shipping cost, and NASA apparently agrees. Previously, we wrote about a proposal to 3D print structures on the moon, and this new experiment shows a continued interest in the technology.