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lunarbase3dprinting

Photo: ESA.INT

Looking to make a quick 2.25M? Take a look at NASA’s website to take part in their 3-D Printed Habitat Challenge (part of NASA’s Centennial Challenges program) and you could become the most sought after 3-D printer maker on planet Earth. The reason behind the contest is quite simple. When building a green home you want the construction materials to be as eco-friendly as possible, with very little waste, and you need to find a way to get all the materials to the site. Now imagine that same concept, but trying to ship earth-friendly building materials on a spacecraft to another planet – millions of miles away. A truly daunting task and NASA agrees.

Now NASA and the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute, known as America Makes, decided to offer a contest – the 3-D Printed Habitat Challenge – where contestants must build a 3-D printed habitat using indigenous materials combined with recyclables. This intergalactic habitat will also be utilized for deep space exploration, including travel to Mars.

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Photo: ESA.INT

The first part of the multi-phase challenge (running through Sept. 27 2015 at the at the Bay Area Maker Faire) requires entrants to design high-end design concepts via 3-D printing. The top 30 submissions will be judged and a prize package of $50,000 will be awarded at the 2015 World Maker Faire in New York.

The second phase of the contest includes two levels. NASA states: The Structural Member Competition (Level 1) focuses on the fabrication technologies needed to manufacture structural components from a combination of indigenous materials and recyclables, or indigenous materials alone. The On-Site Habitat Competition (Level 2) challenges competitors to fabricate full-scale habitats using indigenous materials or indigenous materials combined with recyclables. The public can sign up for both levels September 26, and each segment carries a $1.1 million prize.

Sam Ortega, the Centennial Challenges manager states, “The future possibilities for 3-D printing are inspiring, and the technology is extremely important to deep space exploration. This challenge definitely raises the bar from what we are currently capable of, and we are excited to see what the maker community does with it.”

For more information and schedules go to The NASA 3-D Printed Habitat Challenge website and may the force be with you.

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