How to Turn Moon Rocks into More Useful Stuff

Posted on Dec 3 2012 - 10:12pm by Robert

If you were going to use a 3D printer you would really want to use moon rocks in it, wouldn’t you?

Well, if you have any serious plans to become a lunar colonist (and don’t we all?) then this could become a reality for you.

Researchers in the US have been working a 3D printer which has been used to make little objects from pretend moon rocks. The idea is that when we live on the Moon we can make tools, replacements and maybe even a Pot Noodle using this device.

Just a Digital File Needed

The weight of the materials which the space travellers take with them on their ship could be reduced this way and in these budget conscious times there is also a cash saving to be made we guess. All that would be needed would be a digital file with all of the details of the items which they might want to bring to life.

Work on this exciting sounding project began at Washington State University a couple of years ago and the good people at NASA gave them some simulated moon rocks to get them started.

This brings us nicely onto the point that many of the real moon rocks which were brought back to Earth are missing. The US divided them up and gave them away as gifts to countries all over the world but it seems as though there is now a thriving black market for them, with the going price seemingly starting at several million dollars.

Anyway, the lead researcher on the project is called Professor Amit Bandyopadhyay and he said that they have made simplistic 3D shapes by scanning a digital file and sending the details to their printer.

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