Mars lacks much of the natural resources that we trust in the world, and astronauts who try to colonize or visit only, the red planet can only provide a limited supply of material. Learning to deal with what Mars has to offer is one of the biggest challenges of visiting our nearest neighbor, but the results of the latest 3D printing experiments by the European Space Agency prove that this is not impossible.
We've sent Mars probes and rockets, but so far it's just a one-way trip. Our knowledge of what Mars has done is limited to what the Spirit and Opportunity are able to learn from the examples and to work on the Martian meteorites that are heading towards the Earth. If there's anything we're missing, like our moon, Mars, it's dust.
Therefore, as a stance against real Mars compounds, researchers have turned into a simulated version of the lunar lands, also known as lunar territory.
Working with an Australian company called Lithoz, ESA 3D has printed an example of various parts using a light-sensitive binding agent, made of self-silicon, aluminum, calcium and iron oxides. very fine powder.
Instead of heating the mixture, rather than extruding it as hot glue and allowing it to cool and harden, the 3D-printing technique used here leaves layers of very fine regolith mixture exposed to light and causing the binder to solidify. .
The pieces are then cooked in an oven to form a solid, ceramic material which is not only strong, but also has a uniform and uniform surface structure, so that they are compatible with machined pieces of very high precision. If you hold a 3D printed object made of molten plastic, it is easy to detect the obvious defects on the surface and is problematic for use in sensitive machines.
The next step of the ESA is to thoroughly test the durability and durability of these 3D printed parts to determine whether they can continue to experience space travel challenges and in a challenging environment. In the end, instead of pulling up a trailer filled with spare parts, a manned mission to Mars would have to bring a digital archive, a 3D printer, and perhaps a bucket to collect all parts used in the ship and other structures. soil.[European Space Agency via designboom]