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Regolith Castles

21 Mar 2012, 17:03 UTC
Regolith Castles
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Enrico Dini, my new hero! Inhabitat, a green design forum that highlights new developments in design and architecture shows Pisan engineer-slash-inventor creating a 3-D architectural printer that can create buildings and someday... a moon base?!I've seen Moleculaire's three-dimensional Food Printer in action, but edible material is easier to layer than... stone. Architects have used 3-D printers to "model" designs in recent years, but now they can print a building? On site. Full size.So, of course, our SyFy-trained noggins leap ahead to when Moon Dust Igloos will be all the trendy rage.By suspending rigging over a building area, the huge D-Shape system uses rows of spigots to spray (waterless) binding glue atop a layer of sand, compacting the mix into rock. The process is repeated, building upward into whatever design was initially programmed into the printer.3D allows previously impractical forms to be created, and accuracy is within 25 dpi. Also, since it requires no complex processes such as heating calcium carbonates (limestone) to create cement mixes, CO2 emissions are reduced.As part of the European Space Agency's Aurora Programme, Dini is working with various contractors to modify D-Shape so that it will work with lunar regolith.Enrico Dini, Chairman of Monolite UK Ltd.The ...

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