NASA makes awards to 3-D Printed Habitat teams

Posted on 12 Sep 2018 and read 805 times
NASA makes awards to 3-D Printed Habitat teamsNASA (in collaboration with Bradley University) recently awarded five teams a total of $100,000 in the first level of the third phase of its 3-D Printed Habitat Challenge.

At this level, the competitors were asked to design a 1,000ft2 living space capable of supporting four astronauts over a one-year mission on Mars.

Using BIM (building information modelling) software tools, the winning teams demonstrated the physical and functional characteristics of their proposed Martian habitation modules and split the prize based on scores assigned by a panel of experts from NASA, academia and industry.

As the next step, the winners are required to 3-D print a one-third-scale model of their design for a chance to win $2 million.

Monsi Roman, programme manager for NASA’s Centennial Challenges, said: “We are thrilled to see the success of this diverse group of teams, which have approached this competition in their own unique styles.

“They are not just designing structures, they are also designing habitats that will allow our space explorers to live and work on other planets. We are excited to see their designs come to life, as the competition moves forward.”

First place was awarded to a team from Rogers (Arkansas) for its Zopherus modular habitat (pictured), which features an autonomous moving robot with an integrated printer chamber that seals to the ground and 3-D prints hexagonal structures in its pressurized interior cabin, using materials extracted from the Martian surface.

“The second place went to AI Space Factory (New York) for its Marsha habitat — a vertical double-shell cylindrical structure 3-D printed with “a vertically telescoping arm attached to a stationary rover.”

In third place was a team from the companies Albert Kahn Associates and Yates Construction; it proposed a five-axis print arm that would extend from the top of a prefabricated core to print the module’s foundation and perforated concrete shell, using local materials.

New York-based Space Exploration Architecture (SEArch+) and Russian hardware start-up Apis Cor were awarded the fourth place for their X-House proposal, while fifth place was awarded to a team from Northwestern University (Evanston, Illinois); its housing pod features an inflatable dome-shaped pressure vessel that provides the form over which a 3-D printer produces an outer parabolic dome.

Further information about the 3-D Printed Habitat Challenge can be found at the Web site (

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