Lunar Soil Structures: 3D-Printing Dwellings on the Moon

3d printed space base

One of the biggest challenges of settlements in space is the cost of transporting materials and technologies for construction, a problem addressed beautifully via 3D printing technology in this architectural proposal (currently being prototyped on Earth).

3d robot space printer

The design by Foster + Partners (in conjunction with the European Space Agency) uses a minimum of imported materials – mainly: an inflatable core, pumped up into domes and tunnels on site.

3d base concept prototype

Yet despite its simplicity, the project addresses everything from extreme temperature fluctuations to gamma radiation in this ingenious multi-person dwelling, effectively allowing humans to bypass the need to burrow below the surface while still using it effectively as a shield.

3d space home model

The man-made domes at the center of the concept are augmented by 3D-printed material derived from locally-sourced soil – a concrete-style foam substance providing stability, safety and structural support.