Please consider donating to Behind the Black, by giving either a one-time contribution or a regular subscription, as outlined in the tip jar to the right or below. Your support will allow me to continue covering science and culture as I have for the past twenty years, independent and free from any outside influence.
European engineers have managed to print bricks using simulated moondust and focused sunlight.
The resulting bricks have the equivalent strength of gypsum, and are set to undergo detailed mechanical testing. Some bricks show some warping at the edges, Advenit adds, because their edges cool faster than the centre: “We’re looking how to manage this effect, perhaps by occasionally accelerating the printing speed so that less heat accumulates within the brick. But for now this project is a proof of concept, showing that such a lunar construction method is indeed feasible.”
The video at the link is very unconvincing. While it shows film of the printing process, it does not show film of anyone holding or manipulating the finished bricks. Instead, it shows one or two photos of finished bricks, all of which give the impression that these bricks crumble easily at the edges, I suspect that the bricks are simply too fragile for practical use.
So, is this a proof of concept? Maybe. They have at least shown that 3D printing using materials on the Moon might work.