3D-printing moondust bricks with focused solar heat

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Bricks have been 3D printed out of simulated moondust using concentrated sunlight. This ESA project took place at the DLR German Aerospace Center facility in Cologne, with a 3D printer table attached to a solar furnace, baking successive 0.1 mm layers of moondust at a temperature of 1000°C. A 20 x 10 x 3 cm brick for building can be completed in around five hours. DLR Cologne’s solar furnace has two working setups: as a baseline, it uses 147 curved mirror facets to focus either actual sunlight into a high temperature beam, employed to melt together the grains of regolith. But this mode is weather dependent, so a solar simulator was subsequently employed as well – based on an array of xenon lamps more typically found in cinema projectors.

Read more: http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Space_Engineering_Technology/Printing_bricks_from_moondust_using_the_Sun_s_heat

Copyrights
Video: ESA, CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO – https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/igo/
Music: Future Perfect 4 (60), David O’Brien, audionetwork.com

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9 Comments

  1. We are slowly getting there, Once these little beasties are tested on the surface of the moon and proved a viable option for building structures, I think that's when things will start moving a little faster. Congrats People!

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