Is 3D printing the answer to sustaining life on the Moon?

A consortium consisting of Italian space engineering firm Alta SpA, Pisa-based engineering university Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna and design firm Foster + Partners has been busy exploring the possibilities of 3D printing to construct lunar habitations. Addressing the challenges of transporting materials to the moon, the study is investigating the use of lunar soil, known as regolith, as building matter. Foster + Partners has designed a lunar base to house four people, which can offer protection from meteorites, gamma radiation and high temperature fluctuations and is designed to be constructed on the moon with the help of a 3D printer.