One of the major challenges related to space exploration is the development of technologies that are able to process resources of extraterrestrial environments. 3D printing using lunar dust could help in dealing with such issues.
Reducing the amount of time and costs of delivery – became the main task of scientists from the Department of mechanical engineering and Department of aerospace science and technology Politecnico di Milano University.
The researchers came to the conclusion that the 3D printing system can allow the use of available resources, when necessary, by direct transformation of the digital geometry in the CAD target. Thus, 3D printing allows the manufacture of light structures with improved performance and greater reliability by significantly reducing the number of components.
The experiments showed that the lunar regolith powder or can be used for 3D printing through optimization of the processing conditions and laser parameters. After the positive results of the study were able to determine the main directions for the design of future 3D printing system for use in space.