The space race appears to have resurfaced recently. We’ve seen huge moon projects from firms all around the world in recent years, such as Agile Space Industries’ Griffin lunar lander, ICON’s ambitions to 3D print structures on the Moon, and even China’s intentions to 3D print a base on the Moon. Luyten,
an Australian 3D printer manufacturer recently revealed its aspirations to conquer the final frontier.
As part of a project dubbed Meeka, the corporation plans to develop structures on the moon in collaboration with the University of New South Wales, Sydney (UNSW).
The Platypus Galacticu
The company has created a 3D printer called Platypus Galacticus to help them reach their space goals.
The Platypus Galacticus, which was designed to create parts from regolith, a material found on the Moon,
would be extremely useful in this attempt.
“This knowledge can become part of the Computational Design script,
and the design will respond to the exact material attributes observed on-site,”
Matthias Hank Haeusler, one of the Meeka project managers, noted. Constructing housing for extreme temperatures such as heat or solving housing challenges in remote indigenous communities – both themes we explore in tandem –
can be immediately translated from the information we generate for building on the moon.”
The Platypus Galacticus 3D Printer’s Characteristics
The Platypus Galacticus is a small 3D printer made of composite materials that use a patented extrusion method called Luyten Turisops.
The machine will be able to print buildings up to 12 meters long and 9 meters high (39 feet long and 30 feet high), according to the business.
Luyten intends for rovers to accompany the Platypus Galacticus to the Moon to locate buildable locations and collect minerals.
As a result,
some will attempt to penetrate the soil to analyze the situation,
while others will harvest regolith.
Though the execution of such a project may appear to be a long way off, one thing is certain:
in this industry, advancements follow one another, and AM is making its impact.
NASA, for example, chose 3D printing and enlisted the help of Agile Space Industries to manufacture thrusters, demonstrating the possibilities of AM in the sector at the start of the year.
Since then, an increasing number of firms have become interested in 3D printing in space in a variety of ways, including 3D printing rockets,
testing 3D printing capabilities in zero gravity, and more.
And initiatives like Meeka are becoming more common.
Indeed, it would not be shocking to see additive manufacturing play a significant part in future lunar exploration.