Apr 28, 2017 09:18 AM EDT
One of the biggest challenges in building a colony in Mars is the houses, which will take a lot of materials and effort to build. However, a group of MIT scientists has developed a 3D printer might become the solution for this because it can actually build a house in just around 14 hours.
The giant 3D printer called the Digital Construction Platform might look like your typical 3D printer but it is so much more. The rover-like vehicle has two robotic arms equipped with nozzles on its end sitting on top of it. At the back of the vehicle is a flatbed trailer with two metal tanks attached to its top.
But what makes this MIT giant 3D printer special than the rest of its kin?
It is the first free-moving 3D printer which can create an object of any size. In order to prove how the device works, the scientists used the prototype to create the basic structure of a 12-foot high dome with a 50-foot diameter. MIT's giant 3D printer was able to construct the building in less than 14 hours.
The researchers used a form of finished concrete structure to create the foam-insulated framework. The constructed method they used is the same as the traditional construction methods used in commercial insulated-concrete technique where they filled the polyurethane molds with concrete.
The system is designed to be self-sufficient with a scoop that gathers and prepares the building materials. More so, it has an option to either be solar or electrically-powered.
What the researchers envision is that the system will be totally autonomous and sent to Antarctica and Mars to make buildings in those harsh terrains for years. Before that, however, the researchers said that they also want to show that this device can be used even now.
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