26 Dec '12, 1pm

3D Printing rocket engine parts with moon rocks! #engineering #3Dprinting via @designnews

As we showed you in a recent slideshow , some NASA scientists envision astronauts making whatever they need out of local materials on Mars or the moon via 3D printing. While technology from organizations like Contour Crafting has made this theoretically possible, now, Washington State University (WSU) engineers have actually used moon rocks to print some simple-shaped objects -- on Earth. Real moon rocks are too rare, so researchers are using an imitation moon rock called lunar regolith simulant. Regolith is a mixture of loose dust, rock, and soil that covers solid bedrock on earth, as well as other planets, the moon, and some asteroids. The simulant is formulated to approximate the real lunar regolith's chemical and mineral properties. There are several versions. The WSU team used about 10 lb of one version that contains silicon, aluminum, calcium, iron, and magnesium oxi...

Full article: http://www.designnews.com/author.asp?doc_id=256092&sectio...

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