3D printed prosthetics for Ugandan schoolchildren

http://www.3ders.org/articles/20150603-3d-printed-prosthetics-get-ugandan-amputees-back-on-their-feet.html

3D printed prosthetics get Ugandan schoolchildren back on their feet

Although we’ve heard numerous stories about how 3D printing has helped enable hundreds of those in need of prosthetic limbs, a majority of the cases have been located in the United States or the United Kingdom where 3D printers or 3D printing providers are becoming increasingly common and access to a 3D printer is getting easier than ever before.  While this is excellent news, there are still many world locations where affordable prosthetic devices – and even 3d printers in general – are needed and could be used perhaps even more than those located in more developed Western countries.

In the meantime – thankfully – various organizations and 3D printing providers have been picking up 3D printing jobs as needed to ensure that those who need the prosthetic devices the most are getting the proper care that they need.  More recently, the University of Toronto and charity Christian Blind Mission took it upon themselves to produce prostheses for a Ugandan schoolboy who had been in need of a prosthetic device for years.

The schoolboy, Jesse Ayebazibwe of Kisubi, Uganda, tragically had his right leg amputated after he was hit by a truck after walking home from school three years ago.  Since then, the nine-year-old has been maneuvering with the aid of crutches – however they have since made it difficult to play or move around.  “I liked playing like a normal kid before the accident,” he said.

Thanks to the support of a local orthopaedic technologist, Moses Kaweesa of the Comprehensive Rehabilitation Services (CoRSU) in Uganda, Ayebazibwe was able to use an infrared scanner and some 3D modeling software to create a prosthetic solution for the young boy before shipping the files to Canada to be 3D printed.

“The process is quite short, that’s the beauty of the 3D printers,” said Kaweesa.  “Jesse was here yesterday, today he’s being fitted.”

While Ayebazibwe previously wore a traditional-style prosthesis last year, his new 3D printed prosthesis is among the first in a trial that could see more 3D printed prosthetic device across Uganda for others in need – thanks in no small part to the efforts of Kaweesa.

Currently, the entire country of Uganda has just 12 trained prosthetic technicians for over 250,000 children who have lost limbs, which are often due to fires or congenital diseases.  At $12,000, a portable solution consisting of a laptop, a 3d scanner and a 3d printer is not cheap – however when considering the impact that a portable prosthetic device system could have on over 200,000 children in need – in northern Uganda alone, many people have lost limbs due to decades of war where chopping off limbs was a common reality.

“There’s no support from the government for disabled people … we have a disability department and a minister for disabled people, but they don’t do anything,” said Kaweesa.  “You can travel with your laptop and scanner.”

Upon receiving his 3D printed prosthetic, Ayebazibwe was clearly ecstatic.  “(It) felt good, like my normal leg,” he said. “I can do anything now — run and play football.”

The boy’s 53-year old grandmother, Florence Akoth, looks after him, even carrying him the two kilometers to school after his leg was crushed and his life shattered. She too is thrilled.

“Now he’s liked at school, plays, does work, collects firewood and water,” said Akoth.

3ders.org

by Simon | Jun 3, 2015

http://www.3ders.org/articles/20150603-3d-printed-prosthetics-get-ugandan-amputees-back-on-their-feet.html

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Oil and Gas industry

http://news.investors.com/technology/050815-751745-oil-industry-next-to-embrace-3d-printing.htm

Oil And Gas Industry Next To Embrace 3D Printing

The oil and gas industry could be the latest field to embrace 3D printing to make custom parts and prototypes, as 3D Systems (DDD) CEO Abraham Reichental was scheduled to speak Friday about the opportunities for 3D printing in it, as part of “d5 summit” at the Offshore Technology Conference in Houston. General Electric (GE) Oil & Gas already has plans to use 3D printing for its NovaL T16 …

news.investors.com

The future of music

http://news.discovery.com/tech/gear-and-gadgets/3d-printed-violin-looks-like-the-future-of-music-150330.htm

3D Printed Violin Looks Like the Future of Music

It doesn’t irk me that one cannot applaud at the symphony until the end of the movement as much as it irks me that this symphonic norm was established in the late 1880s.

I think it’s time the symphony unstuffed its shirt and got a little jolt from the future.

New Da Vinci Instrument Unveiled

Just feast your eyes on this gorgeous two-string Piezoelectric Violin from architects Eric Goldemberg and Veronica Zalcberg of Miami’s MONAD studio.

They created it with multi-instrumentalist Scott F Hall for a musical exhibition next month at New York City’s Javits Center for the Inside 3D Printing conference.

In an interview with BBC, Goldemberg told reporter Clemency Burton-Hill that the violin preserves the functionality and ergonomics of the classic violin, but has a character all its own thanks to the materials and methods in which it was formed.

Old Or New Violin? Musicians Can’t Tell

“Consider the tonality of classical guitar against that of the Les Paul electric guitar: they do sound the same in a sense, yet also quite different,” Goldemberg said.

The violin will be exhibited with other extreme interpretations of classic instruments, including a hornucopia, which is their take on the cello.

“Innovation in instrument design is a balancing act of paying homage to history and tradition while at the same time looking forward boldly into the future,” Goldemberg said.

I hope that after the group has finished playing, the audience will be allowed to clap.

news.discovery.com

by TRACY STAEDTER | MAR 30, 2015 04:54 PM ET

3D printed props and costumes

Sky News Features A Few Awesome 3D Printed Movie Props

http://goo.gl/mFyFD7

Film studios are turning to special effects companies with 3D printers for quick turnarounds of detailed outfits.

Movie props and costumes are getting more elaborate and intricate because of an unlikely new character in Hollywood – the 3D printer.

Film studios are increasingly turning to special effects companies with 3D printers so that outfits can be created more quickly and with some impressive detail.

The process isn’t cheap – but there’s less of a need for actors to stand around nearly naked in plaster casts anymore.

Grant Pearmain, director at FB FX, told Sky News the design process has been revolutionised by the technology.

He said: “A 3D printer can make something that a normal person just can’t physically make, by the way it prints, kind of overlaps and underlaps.”

Among the many blockbuster movie pieces co-designed by Mr Pearmain’s company is the helmet worn by actor Chris Pratt when he starred as Star Lord in Guardians Of The Galaxy.

It was printed ready to wear straight away.

The A-lister’s co-star Djimon Hounsou – who played the baddie Korath – also received the 3D printer treatment.

Mr Pearmain added: “The designer wanted a look on that film of a kind of armour that you just wouldn’t traditionally be able to make – it would be really impossible to do.

“We worked quite hard to create 3D-printed parts that were strong enough that that entire costume could be built that way.”

Parts of Christian Bale’s helmet and armour, as he played Moses in Exodus: Gods And Kings, were also 3D printed.

Gary Miller, head of 3D printing facility IPF, told Sky News: “It’s got to the stage now where if you don’t have access to this technology you’re kind of working with one arm tied behind your back.

“It’s so fast. We’re printing in the evening on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and supplying the studios on Monday morning to go fitting straight onto the actors.”

The method also means special visual effects designers in the UK can send over prototypes to US studios for approval more quickly.

However, 3D printing has been criticised for being expensive. There have been rumblings over potential job losses too.

Technician Jack Rothwell operates a digital 3D body scanner for actors at Shepperton Studios.

He said: “I think there are fears, I think especially for people who haven’t grown up with computers who are traditional model makers … it’s a struggle to incorporate this into their work flow.”

However, film journalist Tom Butler, told us the situation may balance itself out in the long run.

“You will always need a skilled engineer at the front end to design the thing in the first place.”

And as the cost drops and the tech improves further, there are high hopes for the future.

He added: “I don’t think it’s too far-fetched to think that in the future Star Wars films the storm troopers will be wearing 3D-printed costumes.”

NEWS.SKY.COM
by Gemma Morris, Sky News Presenter | Friday 20 February 2015 20:30, UK

3D printing car factory!

To All Car Fanatics: Introducing the World’s First-Ever 3D Printing Car Factory!

http://goo.gl/0hK66z

National Harbor

The series production of cars using 3D printing is on the horizon.
If you live in the Mid-Atlantic region, you should soon be able to buy a 3D-printed car — or at least see one made. Developers at National Harbor — a 350-acre waterfront property in Prince George’s County, Maryland — announced their plans earlier this month to open a facility for Local Motors by year’s end. The facility, which is expected to be approximately 40,000 square feet, will include a 3D printing microfactory, lab, and showroom.

Local Motors aims to change the way autos are made and sold
The business model of Phoenix-based Local Motors, founded in 2007, involves crowdsourcing the designing of vehicles, and then building and selling them locally. Its ultimate goal is to open microfactories near all major urban centers. Manufacturing autos close to their ultimate buyers should cut down drastically on distribution costs.

The company currently has locations in Phoenix and Las Vegas, but according to theWashington Post, the National Harbor site would be “the first Local Motors outpost to print, refine and assemble a fleet of cars via 3-D printer.”

“It’s like an IKEA. People will come from all around to experience it,” the Washington Postquoted Justin Fishkin, chief strategy officer for Local Motors, as saying. I think that might prove true. Surely, many 3D printing aficionados, as well as tech lovers and auto enthusiasts, will probably find something of interest to do and see at the facility, which promises to have a major demonstrative — and perhaps even a participatory – bent.

Additionally, there reportedly will be hundreds of other 3D-printed items for sale. So, members of the general public who don’t fall into the above-mentioned groups might also find something that appeals to them – and their wallets.

Autodesk: Local Motors’ public-company partner
OK, so this is cool, but where’s the investing link?

Strati

Software maker Autodesk (NASDAQ:ADSK) announced last fall that it’s collaborating with Local Motors. Local Motors is using Autodesk’s Spark, a new open platform for 3D printing, as it continues to work with privately held Cincinnati Inc. and Oak Ridge National Laboratory to develop the Strati, the world’s first 3D printed full-size car. In September, the trio used the BAAM (big area additive manufacturing) machine that Cincinnati and ORNL are developing to produce the Strati electric vehicle live at the International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago. They repeated the feat earlier this month at the Detroit Auto Show.

The Strati will initially be classified as a neighborhood electric vehicle, limited to driving on roads with posted speed limits of 45 miles per hour or less, according to Popular Science.However, PopSci also reports, “Local Motors is seeking approval from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for highway-capable vehicles.”

If the Autodesk-Local Motors team-up can demonstrate that the Spark platform increases the ease and efficiency of Local Motors’ 3D printing efforts on its Strati project and beyond, Spark could accelerate the adoption of 3D printing for industrial applications. This in turn would likely benefit Autodesk, which makes computer-aided design, or CAD, software for 3D printing as well as for other applications.

The bigger picture… a bigger 3D printing industry pie
If Local Motors’ efforts help light a fire under the adoption of 3D printing for industrial applications, the entire size of the 3D printing industry could grow faster than projected. And estimates are already robust: Industry analyst Wohlers Associates expects that the global 3D printing industry will grow from $3.07 billion in 2013 to more than $21 billion by 2020; that’s greater than a 31% compounded average annual growth rate.

In this scenario, manufacturers of 3D printers and companies that provide 3D printing services for industrial applications could benefit to varying degrees. These companies include 3D Systems (NYSE:DDD)Stratasys (NASDAQ:SSYS)ExOneArcam, voxeljet,and Materialise. (Materialise doesn’t make 3D printers like the others; however, it does provide 3D printing services.)

Granted, Cincinnati’s BAAM machine could be looked upon as a competitive threat to the existing 3D printing players. However, for the near and intermediate terms, I think it’s more likely than not that the introduction of BAAM to the scene will help the existing 3D printing companies more than it will hurt them. The target markets of Cincinnati Inc. and the existing players do not currently overlap, as Cincinnati is solely targeting large-scale 3D printing.  

Stratasys, in my opinion, could especially benefit from the increased use of 3D printing for both prototyping and short-run production applications in industrial settings. The 3D printing industry leader offers printers that can print in an impressive range of tough thermoplastics, well suited for various industrial applications. Unlike its main rival, 3D Systems, Stratasys currently doesn’t sell systems that can print in metals, though I think it’s just a matter of time until it does. Stratasys does, however, provide metal 3D printing services via its on-demand 3D printing services operation.

I also think it’s likely that Stratasys will eventually possess capabilities to print in carbon-fiber-reinforced plastics. Stratasys has been working with Oak Ridge National Lab since 2012 to develop FDM carbon-fiber-reinforced plastics. (FDM stands for “fused deposition modeling,” one of Stratasys’ three 3D printing technologies.) Successfully infusing reinforcing fibers into plastic feedstock is widely considered a major key to scaling up 3D printing to produce large parts for automobile, aerospace, and other applications where strong but lightweight materials are needed. And, in fact, the Stratis that are being produced by Cincinnati’s BAAM machine are largely being made using reinforced plastic.

Final thoughts
The proposed opening of the first factory to use 3D printing to produce vehicles is surely a positive for the 3D printing industry as a whole. It’s too soon, however, to predict how the success of such an endeavor will affect the fortunes of the existing players. But I’ll continue to follow the Local Motors’ story and keep 3D printing investors abreast of new developments.

FOOL.COM

by Beth McKenna, Fool Contributor | Jan 31, 2015 at 10:33AM

3D printed car key

Ultra Expensive Car Key Copies May Become A Thing of the Past Soon Enough..

http://goo.gl/GUQojL

Does it ever happen at a convenient time? I suppose it’s central to the nature of keys that if one breaks while trying to lock, unlock or start something, it’s a bad time. After all, who touches a lock when they’re not trying to go somewhere, go to sleep or come home? And locksmiths can be a bit pricey, as I’m sure you’ve noticed.

Fortunately, the creative duo behind the Smith│Allen studio has been working on a 3D printed solution for this exact problem, so you’ll (theoretically) never have to worry about breaking a key again. Simply design and 3D print a new one! Now why you’d turn to 3D printing to solve this problem is beyond me, and as you’ll see in a moment it isn’t fool-proof either, but it nonetheless illustrates the unique manufacturing potential of 3D printing.

As they explained, a common disaster recently struck them too. ‘Disaster! My only copy of the my car key broke, I park on the street and have to move my car by Saturday 9AM today is Friday and I have to go to work. What to do? I could call an auto locksmith or take it in to the dealer but that would be expensive and take time. There has to be a better way.’

They have therefore worked on an upgrade to bring this key ‘into the 21st century’ by designing a new copy using free Fusion360 cloud-based 3D modeling platform (sign up as an enthusiast to gain access for free). Now this will require a bit of modeling work and a highly accurate printer (the key needs to fit, after all), so this project might not be for everyone. Smith│Allen relied on a Objet Connex 500 from Stratasys, but those aren’t exactly cheap. Alternatively, you could try Shapeways though that would mean sharing your key designs with strangers. Perhaps not the most comforting thought?

Nonetheless, their project is interesting. They initially made a series of photographs that properly capture all the key’s details and profile. To do so, ‘Lay the key down and get it as flat as you can. Try to get the light as even as you can. Take the photos from a bit further away than you think you would need to, taking them further away means the profile will appear ‘flatter’. The flatter the image the more accurate the trace will be.’

These photos can be used as your basic workspace in Fusion360 software, though you’ll also need to do some extensive measuring work with a pair of calipers to add all the details. In a nutshell, this requires several steps: ‘Use the calipers to measure the length and width of the key. Make a new sketch then a rectangle of the basic size of the key. Measure the keys thickest point and extrude the sketch to that volume.’

Next, you’ll need to add in all the grooves one by one, measuring them with your calipers and recording them in a 2D sketch. Check out Smith│Allen ‘s full guide for this on Instructables, but the process will entirely depend on the shape of your own key. This whole process can be very time-consuming, so beware. It might also take several iterations to get all the details right.

However, once you’ve reached a satisfactory stage, you can save your design as an STL file and 3D print it on your printer. Mind you, keys are typically subjected to a lot of strength and wear-and-tear, so make sure you the strongest possible filament. Also make sure to try it in a non-essential lock first, as your key can easily break off despite all your work – Smith│Allen’s key did. ‘I just went for it, and it worked…sort of. The key fit the lock and was able to turn, it broke when turning the additional bit to start.’

Not every story has a happy ending…

Truth be told, this guide doesn’t even have a happy ending, as Smith│Allen hasn’t yet succeeded replacing their key with a durable alternative. But it’s a very impressive and creative project nonetheless; why shouldn’t keys be 3D printed? But perhaps more can be achieved with a metal 3D printer…

3D printed smoothies!

Flavour of the week: 3D Printed smoothies!

http://3dprint.com/23223/3d-printing-with-banana/

The second attempt appears significantly more palatable.

Bananas have been referred to as “the perfect food.” Not only are they rich in nutrients but, in terms of form, they exemplify the perfect self-contained packaging and delivery systems. Who doesn’t enjoy peeling a banana and admiring its ingenious design? Not content to leave well enough alone,3DigitalCooks, a website devoted to making and reporting “digital gastronomy news” has conceived of a new way to approach the banana.

Printing With Bananas, 3DC’s recent project, combines the smoothie fad with 3D printing. After extolling the nutritional virtues of the banana, 3DC’s banana-based blog entry describes the process through which they 3D printed with bananas. Probably not surprisingly, the consistency of the banana, although ideal for smoothies, proved problematic. Extruding the pureed banana was one thing. Even printing it layer by layer was not so challenging, but getting the end result to be anything but a puddle of formerly firm banana was difficult.

3DC solved the consistency problem by consulting the experts at the FoodDev section of Reddit, who recommended adding a thickener — potato starch proved to be the best — to the pureed bananas, ensuring that the printed end result would take a form other than unmanageable (and, frankly, unappealing) liquidy mess. However, the tendency of bananas to turn brown when exposed to air needed to be confronted, so the team added orange juice to counteract the darkening. The results were less than impressive and we’re wondering if nobody on the 3DC had a grandmother who could recommend lemon juice.

In any case, consistency issues were surmounted and the 3DC team got to work 3D printing. They experimented with temperatures and the amount of potato starch to water and orange juice proportions, and struggled over unsightly lumps and discoloration. Their solutions are provided at the end of the blog, although, clearly, anyone willing to take up the torch and 3D print their own banana-flavored delicacies is encouraged to experiment with recipes, temperatures, and consistency.

Although the “Printing With Bananas” blog entry doesn’t provide information about the equipment 3DC uses to produce their 3D-printed digital edibles, their site explains that they use PLYUMP, an open hardware peristaltic extruder, which is designed for use with 3D printers. Luis Rodriguez Alcalde, founder of 3DigitalCooks, describes the evidently aggravating process of finding the best extruder for the team’s purposes. Unable to find a suitable existing extruder, he set about designing and creating his own; the PLYUMP currently in use is version 0.43.

extruder

In addition to 3D printing bananas, 3DC’s collaborators, from Amsterdam to Portland, have shared their own digital edibles projects. There’s the “Bot-B-Q,” an open source 3D printing barbecue from Frankfurt, Germany, “Laser Cooking” using a laser cutter as a dry-heating cooking device from the Fukuchi Lab in Japan, and from Texas, 3D printed “Piq Chocolates” with personal inscriptions, plus a range of other links to digital food prep sites making 3DC definitely worth perusing even if the projects aren’t feasible due to your own limitations — equipment, palate, or otherwise.

Have you ever tried 3D printing with banana puree?  How about any other foods?  Let’s hear your thoughts in the 3D Printing & Bananas forum thread on 3DPB.com.

3DPRINT.COM
by  | NOVEMBER 19, 2014

3D printing revolutionizing burn treatment!

3D Printing may replace skin grafting for burn victims in the future! Check out how by following the link below 🙂

http://www.cbsnews.com/…/how-3d-printing-could-revolutioni…/

final-2-still006.jpg

TORONTO – Dr. Marc Jeschke, the head of one of Canada’s largest burn treatment centers, had to admit the 3D skin printer in his hands didn’t look revolutionary.

“I actually find it kind of fish-tanky,” he told CBS News, laughing. But this boxy prototype could change the way burns are treated, from current skin grafting methods Jeschke calls “barbaric” to a process his team believes will be faster, cheaper and easier on the patient, with an end result — functional human skin — promising to be just like the real thing.

“It’s cutting edge,” said Jeschke, the director ofRoss Tilley Burn Centre at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto, whose team developed the process and printer in collaboration with researchers from the University of Toronto. “We can mimic how your skin looks. And that’s the evolvement, that’s something new, that’s something novel.”

To begin the process of creating new human skinon the printer, Jeschke explained that healthy skin cells are first harvested from the burn patient, then analyzed and multiplied in the lab.

“We grow these cells in various containers and make them exactly into the cell type that we want,” said Jeschke. Then, “the printer tells the cells where to go.”

It does so via a cartridge, which weaves the cells together with a gel-like matrix serving as the skin’s 3D scaffolding. The cellular tapestry that emerges from the cartridge floats through the printer’s reservoir and gathers around a rotating drum. The strips are then collected and cultured.

“You basically imprint your various cells into this three-dimensional matrix that comes out and it’s basically ready to be put on the patient,” said Jeschke.

The printer is still in preclinical trials, but Jeschke’s team said they hope to move to human trials within two years, and if those go well, printers like these could be in hospitals and helping burn patients within five years.

But to get there, Jeschke said the project will need more funding. In September, members of the team were selected as the Canadian winners of the 2014 James Dyson Award, a prestigious international engineering prize that comes with cash, but only a fraction of what it will cost to get the project across the finish line.

And there are other questions that still need to be answered.

Growing enough cells remains a challenge. “That’s the current issue, which is how to get cells to magnify, multiply and grow in a speed that’s beyond what they normally do,” Jeschke said.

final-2-still004.jpg

Should they succeed, they’ll help change a process Jeschke said is in dire need of an upgrade. Current skin grafts for burn victims require removing a healthy section of a patient’s skin to cover their wound, essentially creating a second wound in the process. The greater percentage of the body that’s burned, the more skin that’s needed — and the less that’s available. Skin removed for these grafts can be expanded, but not by much.

“Your donor site, once you take the skin, of course has to heal,” explained Jeschke. “So a patient with 40 percent burn or 50 percent burn is usually in a hospital about 80 to 100 days.”

With their printer, Jeschke and his team think they can cut that recovery time down significantly. And while other methods can leave patients with skin that doesn’t match their natural color, or lacks follicles or sweat glands, researchers on the project say their method will allow them to eventually add those complex layers of cells.

final-2-still005.jpg

“Someone will be able to take their own cells, and incorporate it into this printer and have skin graft printed that are made especially for them,” said Lian Leng, a PhD student at the the University of Toronto’s Department of Mechanical Engineering and one of the lead developers of the printer, commercially known as the PrintAlive Bioprinter.

The printer could have a critical impact in underdeveloped countries, where even a small burn can be fatal. Researchers on the project plan to train doctors in Cambodia to grow cells and operate the printer themselves.

Such a device could also provide critical support to soldiers burned on the battlefield. That’s prompting the U.S. military to fund similar projects, like one at Wake Forest University in North Carolina.

“You probably can reduce war fatalities significantly if you have an off-the-shelf skin product that can be put on,” said Jeschke.

Leng agreed with Jeschke’s assessment of the printer’s looks — “It really is a mini version of a fish tank.”

It’s a fish tank, though, that could eventually save lives.

CBSNEWS.COM
by ALEXANDER TROWBRIDGE, CBS NEWS | November 13, 2014, 5:01 AM

The next 3D printing revolution in space

The European Space Agency has stated that 3D printing a moon base is possible within the next 40 years, and is looking into developing the project, which is still in its planning phase, further.

3D Printing: one of the first exported skills from Earth! 🙂

http://rt.com/news/203643-moon-base-3d-printer/

A possible image of a base on the moon (Image from www.esa.int)

he European Space Agency (ESA) has proven that its project to 3D-print a base on the Moon is possible. In a latest video the agency shows how 3D-printing robots may be used to build the base using lunar material.
The ESA started investigation of the lunar base possibility in 2013, working alongside its industrial and architectural partners. The creation of the reliable semi-spherical structures on the surface of the moon could be fulfilled within the next 40 years, and 90 percent of the materials needed would be derived from the moon itself.

The latest details of the new concept, which is, however, still “firmly on the drawing board,” were discussed at a conference this week at ESA’s technical center in Noordwijk, the Netherlands.

“3D printing offers a potential means of facilitating lunar settlement with reduced logistics from Earth,” Scott Hovland, of ESA’s human spaceflight team, said in a statement.

“The new possibilities this work opens up can then be considered by international space agencies as part of the current development of a common exploration strategy,” he said.

An inner view of a human settlement on the moon (Still from YouTube video/European Space Agency)

As planned, the location of the settlement would be at the “peak of eternal light” – that is, along the rim of the Shackleton Crater on the south pole of the moon. This location was also chosen previously by NASA for its intended human settlement base, as it would mean near-constant solar power.

A 3D-printing robot (Still from YouTube video/European Space Agency)

The structure of a living pod would be formed by the habitation capsule and a dome, which would be covered by a protective shell made of lunar dust “cement” by two 3D-printing robots. It will be vital to protect people – up to four astronauts would become the first moon settlers – from radiation, meteoroids and temperature jumps – functions that on Earth are carried out by the atmosphere.

A living pod is protected by a concrete layer made of moon dust (Still from YouTube video/European Space Agency)

The moonbase plans are by no means the first attempt to apply 3D-printing to space technologies. This September, the International Space Station welcomed a high-tech 3D printer, aimed at creating tools and supplies for astronauts.

References:

Malta Comic Expo

Another day at the Malta Comic Expo has kicked off and we’re having a great time with the crowd here! Will somebody manage to solve our 3D puzzle and win the competition today? Who knows!

"Another day at the Malta Comic Expo has kicked off and we're having a great time with the crowd here! Will somebody manage to solve our 3D puzzle and win the competition today? Who knows!"