‘Mars Ice House’ wins the NASA 3D-Printed Habitat Challenge contest

NASA sponsored the NASA 3D-Printed Habitat Challenge in which entrant teams develop 3D printing systems and techniques for building habitats on Mars. Thirty finalists were chosen in August. See descriptions of each team’s concept at Design Competition Finalists.

At the Maker Faire underway this weekend in New York the teams displayed their designs and the winners were selected. Updates from the event were posted at 3DP Challenge (@3DPChallenge) – Twitter.

The grand prize winner was the Mars Ice House team – America Makes on Twitter:

JUST ANNCD: Team ICE HOUSE @s_e_arch winners of the $25k Grand Prize @3DPChallenge @NASAPrize @make #WMF2015 http://t.co/B39XlrDBvD

Check out their informative website.

Mars-Ice-House_Dusk+01_lr[1]A Mars team approaches their Ice House habitat. Credits Ice House Team.

mars_section+02_Rev1[1]Cross-section of the ice structure built with an additive printing system
around the lander module. Credits Ice House Team.

Wardroom[1]“Where the ice shell thins, large ETFE inflatable windows filled with
radiation shielding gas further expand the perceived volume and frame
views into the landscape.  Together, these features enable both collective
and private opportunities to contemplate the vista of the
extraordinary Martian terrain.”  Credits Ice House Team.

I’ve always like the idea of ice structures on the Moon and Mars since ice is both translucent, which adds light and color to one’s living environment, and an excellent radiation shielding material. With substantial water resources now believed to be available at the lunar poles, similar structures as the Ice House could be built on the Moon as well.