A new idea stroked the researches on how to build lunar colonies in the future. The first thought for these colonies to be established is through a 3D printer. Unfortunately, things are not looking that easy as they seem. Even if the 3D Printer is popular in some areas such as science, industry, and others, using it in space can be quite tricky.
The problem that appears when we talk about 3D printing in space is the printed materials. Not all the metal mixture has an internal structure compatible with the environment. So a new study about this issue is out to the public, and scientists are trying to solve the problem.
A new study regarding the 3D Print on space is available in the Nature Communications Journal. The research is treating two metals, the titanium, and the nickel. The first metal is the base for the aircraft manufacturing and implants, while the nickel is found in the petroleum industries and marine.
We mentioned above that using the 3D Print for space is risky because of the internal structure of the metals. A 3D print will result in elongated crystals that are cracking in the manufacturing process.
Lunar Colonies Could Be Built on Moon with 3D Print
However, scientists from RMIT University’s School of Engineering are thinking of changing some things with the manufacturing process by adding ultrasonic vibrations. By using the ultrasonic vibrations in the printing process, the internal structure of the metals has changed. The entire experiment of the ultrasonic vibrations with the metals created a delicate and equal crystal.
To sum up, having a beautiful structure of the crystals means a stronger print. The data analyzed of the ultrasonic treatment is practical, with 12% stronger than the non-treated version.
Of course, the experiment won’t stop here, and not only the two metals will be the ones that will receive the treatment. For the space experiments, the 3D Print is used in the ISS for some time for different items. The final goal is to have an in-space manufacturing technology with a durable life and exploration.