3D-printing moondust bricks with focused solar heat


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

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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  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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