* 3D printer creates objects from NASA moon material: http://www.gizmag.com/3d-printing-moon-rock/25212/
* Need a tool on the moon? 3D print one made out of moon rocks: http://www.geekosystem.com/3d-printing-moon-rocks/
Bandyopadhyay and a group of colleagues recently published a paper in Rapid Prototyping Journal demonstrating how to print parts using materials from the moon.
Approached by NASA
Three-dimensional fabrication technology, also known as additive manufacturing, allows researchers to produce complex 3-D objects directly from computer-aided design (CAD) models, printing the material layer by layer. In this case, the material is heated using a laser to high temperatures and prints out like melting candle wax to a desired shape.
Simple shapes built
|Pieces made from imitation moon rock on 3-D printer.
Tailoring composition, geometry
“The advantage of additive manufacturing is that you can control the composition as well as the geometry,’’ says Bose.
In the future, the researchers hope to show that the lunar material could be used to do remote repairs.
“It is an exciting science fiction story, but maybe we’ll hear about it in the next few years,’’ says Bandyopadhyay. “As long as you can have additive manufacturing set up, you may be able to scoop up and print whatever you want. It’s not that far-fetched.’’