Lunar Contour Crafting - 'Print' A Moonbase

Contour Crafting is a method of actually "printing" a building in three dimensions, using concrete or other building material. Behrokh Khoshnevis has announced that he has received funding from Caterpillar, well-known for construction equipment.

(Contour Crafting - printing out a multi-story building)

Khoshnevis also has an interest in lunar Contour Crafting; using these same techniques to use "local" materials on the Moon to create lunar habitats:

Contour Crafting technology has the potential to build safe, reliable, and affordable lunar and Martian structures, habitats, laboratories, and other facilities before the arrival of human beings. Contour Crafting construction systems are being developed that exploit in situ resources and can utilize lunar regolith as construction material. These structures can include integrated radiation shielding, plumbing, electrical, and sensor networks...

The ability to fabricate extraterrestrial habitats, laboratories or manufacturing facilities is the key element for long-term human survival on the Moon or Mars. Our proposal develops an automated in situ construction system that is viable, economical, practical and with applicability within a decade for Earth-Moon operations.

(Lunar Contour Crafting - printing out a moonbase)

Contour Crafting is a part of USC's Center for Rapid Automated Fabrication Technologies (CRAFT). The large-scale vision of CRAFT is to "develop the science and engineering needed for rapid automated fabrication of objects of various size up to mega-scale structures such as boats, industrial objects, public art and whole building structures."

If you want to see how Contour Crafting works, take a look at this contour crafting video.

See also this earlier story about Contour Crafting - 3D house printers. From Contour Crafting via The Register.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 9/3/2008)

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