Imagine landing on the moon or Mars, putting rocks through a 3-D printer and making something useful – like a needed wrench or replacement part. Three-dimensional fabrication technology, also known as additive manufacturing, allows researchers to produce complex 3-D objects directly from computer-aided design (CAD) models, printing the material layer by layer. In this case, the material is heated using a laser to high temperatures and prints out like melting candle wax to a desired shape.
Because of the tremendous expense of space travel, researchers strive to limit what space ships have to carry. Establishment of a lunar or Martian outpost would require using the materials that are on hand for construction or repairs.
View the video below.
Also: Learn about MoonKommand software.