Lunar base made with 3D printing


Multi-dome base being constructed


Lunar south pole


3D-printed lunar base design


D-Shape printer

Building a lunar base with 3D printing

31 January 2013

Setting up a lunar base could be made much simpler by using a 3D printer to build it from local materials. Industrial partners including renowned architects Foster + Partners have joined with ESA to test the feasibility of 3D printing using lunar soil.

“Terrestrial 3D printing technology has produced entire structures,” said Laurent Pambaguian, heading the project for ESA.

“Our industrial team investigated if it could similarly be employed to build a lunar habitat.”

Foster + Partners devised a weight-bearing ‘catenary’ dome design with a cellular structured wall to shield against micrometeoroids and space radiation, incorporating a pressurised inflatable to shelter astronauts.

A hollow closed-cell structure – reminiscent of bird bones – provides a good combination of strength and weight.

Read more: Building a lunar base with 3D printing / Technology / Our Activities / ESA.

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