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WSU can print 3D parts from moon rock to help astronauts in a jam (video)

Jon Fingas, @jonfingas
November 29, 2012
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It was only a matter of time before 3D printers went to other worlds, really. Following a NASA line of questioning, Washington State University has determined that it's possible to print 3D objects from moon rock. Researchers learned that simulated moon material behaves like silica and can be shaped into 3D objects by melting it with a laser, whether it's to form new objects (like the ugly cylinders above) or to patch objects together. Would-be assemblers could also introduce additive materials to vary the composition on demand. No, the results aren't as pretty as certain 3D creations, but they could be vital for future missions to Mars or the Moon: astronauts could fix equipment, or build new parts, without either an elaborate process or waiting for supplies from Earth. Now all we need are the extraterrestrial missions to take advantage of WSU's ideas.



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