Nasa initiates a habitat design-build-create challenge in the US

18 May 2015 (Last Updated May 18th, 2015 18:30)

Nasa is challenging members of the public to design and build a 3D-printed habitat for deep space exploration, including the agency's journey to Mars.

Nasa is challenging members of the public to design and build a 3D-printed habitat for deep space exploration, including the agency's journey to Mars.

Participants of the $2.25m competition are being asked to create a living space using indigenous materials in combination with other items from the spacecraft that would be considered as waste.

Named the 3D Printed Habitat Challenge, it will be carried out in multiple phases, with the already initiated at the Bay Area Maker Faire in San Mateo, California.

Under phase one, participants will develop state-of-the-art architectural concepts to be brought to life through 3D-printing techniques.

"Participants will develop state-of-the-art architectural concepts to be brought to life through 3D-printing techniques." 

Nasa will select the top 30 submissions and award a prize purse of $50,000 at the 2015 World Maker Faire in New York.

The challenge is part of Nasa's Centennial Challenges programme and is intended to boost additive construction technology, which can be used to create sustainable housing solutions that are not restricted to Earth.

Nasa Centennial Challenges programme manager Sam Ortega said: "The future possibilities for 3D-printing are inspiring, and the technology is extremely important to deep space exploration.

"This challenge definitely raises the bar from what we are currently capable of, and we are excited to see what the maker community does with it."

The second phase of the initiative will be divided into two levels with the first comprising a Structural Member Competition and the second being an On-Site Habitat Competition.

Level one will focus on the required fabrication technologies for manufacturing structural components from either indigenous materials alone, or combined with recyclables.

The second level will challenge competitors to develop full-scale habitats using the indigenous materials or new combinations produced.

Each level winner will be awarded a $1.1m. Registration for both levels in the second phase opens on 26 September.