Author Topic: Concrete Printing of Modules - Idea  (Read 1929 times)

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Concrete Printing of Modules - Idea
« on: January 20, 2011, 11:15:08 PM »

Concrete Printing of Modules
(a way to easily create new modules from local materials)

This topic is a response to two posts:
2) (aozeba's idea)

Concrete Printing of Modules solves the problem on how buildings could not only be created in MCC, but also in a real colony on Moon/Mars.
This technology not only exists now, but it's currently beying developed by ESA for human colonisation of the Moon!

Before reading futher watch those videos: - Future of Construction Process: Concrete Printing - Contour Crafting

Interestingly, Dini started working with the European Space Agency Aurora programme, which was established to explore opportunities for a plan for robotic and human exploration of the solar system, “with the Moon and Mars as the most likely targets, and to establish a more permanent presence on the Moon”. He approached a Alta Space, a company specialized in propulsion technologies, and also asked Norman Foster to join the team. Expect some ambitious proposals and ideas in the future…

“The idea is to create a robot that could take the regolithic powder found on the moon and make buildings from it, using advanced sensor technology being developed by La Scuola Normale Superiore and propulsion devices created by Alta Space. In addition it would presumably create large structures in the manner of Foster and Partners. Given the way the practice’s buildings often go against the urban grain, the moon seems ideal.”

How could this work in MCC aswell as in real life?
To the Moon/Mars will be sended a basic habitat (HUB module) which will sustain life.
There is also sended a mobile unit and it's that one that will create other buildings from scratch from local materials.
For the sake of the discussion let's call it an "Assembler".
The assembler has wheels and it looks like a platform.
When astronauts (players) decide it's time to expand, they pick the next module they need.
Astronauts then go to the's it's console and they chose a simple option "Go to: next building site" or they drive it themselves as it was a rover.
The target area must be clean of course - no rocks, no people, no items or other vehicles.
When it reaches the destined area astronauts give it all the materials it needs - which are: martian concrete (made simply on Mars), steel pipes (made easily from mined Iron and CO2 from the air) and plastics (made also easily on Mars in Fishers reaction).
When all of the materials are in place, Assembler starts to build the module automaticly - part by part.
When the module is ready, astronauts can go to the module to which it links to - pressurizes it, heat it, and then open the airlock.
This ends the proces of creation of the module - but that way you can't create equipement inside of it, like consoles, bioreactors, lights etc..
What you need to do now is to go inside and equip every wall with the equipement it should have - simply, take it from the storage room and plug-it to the wall.
That way you will also need to install electricity cables (at the power box), life-support elements, electronic boards etc..
Some of those parts you can make yourselves - like electric cables. Other, you will have to order from other bases.

This type of building gives following advantages:
- It's a few thousand (if not more) times cheaper.
- It's fun to do it alone - part-by-part.
- It gives greater radiation protection than thin and light modules transported from Earth.
- It gives players a purpose, and a chain of events --> you need to create all needed elements before you will start to create another module.
- It's 4 times faster than building on Earth, so it should be even 10 times faster on Mars if we would to build it by hands.
- There is no problem of programing the creation of a new module by players themselves. Concrete Printing of Modules could be pre-animated.
- It's egists...yet it's futuristic!
- No need to part the game in stages - players play from the start in one continous gameplay.
- There is little waste-material, and that's good when creating modules on Mars.
- Concrete Printing needs only one substrat realy - concrete. 
"The completed material resembles marble, is stronger than concrete, and does not need iron reinforcing. The printing process can successfully create internal curves, partitions, ducting, and hollow columns."
- There is an ever futher aplication possible with this idea...a possibility of customizong base design by players! They could program where to put one module, and where the other, and what module it should be - creating an interesting diversity! Offcourse that's too far ahead.

In my opinion current ESA/NASA design of the moonbase looks simmilar. Anyone else gets this feeling? Fission Surface Power System ATHLETE

I think it's a greate idea. It solves many problem, including the main one - building modules on Mars Colony. It's realistic, and logical.

Poland here. My time: GMT + 1h
Writing a book about Mars. Any ideas? Type to me.
I'am an Astrobiology/Biology student.