Browsing: 3D printing

The entire Apollo 11 mission to the moon took just eight days. If we ever want to build permanent bases on the moon, or perhaps even Mars or beyond, then future astronauts will have to spend many more days, months and maybe even years in space without a constant lifeline to Earth. The question is how would they get hold of everything they needed. Using rockets to send all the equipment and supplies for building and maintaining long-term settlements on the moon would be hugely expensive.

3D printing refers to a range of digital fabrication processes that build objects directly from computer models, without expensive tooling, in layers of material. Although 3D printing processes vary widely, including melting metal powder with lasers or hardening liquid plastic “ink” with ultraviolet light, most people tend to think of 3D printing desktop machines that melt spools of plastic.

The Fabrication City concept puts manufacturing back in the hands of communities — using 3D printers. It could have far-reaching implications for economic development, environmental sustainability, inclusion and other benefits. The use of 3D printing provides cities with opportunities through their local innovators and entrepreneurs.