Five teams winning the 3D-Printed Habitat Centennial Challenge will share a $ 100,000 prize pool

Original author: Gina Anderson, Shannon Ridinger
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The design that won first place. Source: NASA

NASA and the University of Bradley, Illinois, selected the top five finalists of the 3D-Printed Habitat Centennial Challenge, between which they will share a prize pool of $ 100,000. The winners successfully modeled in a special software a digital model of the Martian dwelling with detailed details of its physical and functional characteristics.The award will be distributed according to the points awarded by the expert jury, which included representatives of NASA, academia and industry. The judges carefully evaluated and discussed the work of eighteen teams from around the world, and selected the following winners:

  1. Zopherus from Rogers, Arkansas - $ 20,957.95
  2. AI. SpaceFactory from New York - $ 20,957.24
  3. Kahn-Yates from Jackson, Mississippi - $ 20,622.74
  4. SEArch + / Apis Cor from New York - $ 19,580.97
  5. Northwestern University from Evanston, Illinois - $ 17,881.10

“Each of these teams acted in a unique style, and we are delighted that the final list looks like this,” said Monsie Roman, program director for the Centennial Challenges. “They didn’t just develop any structures, they seriously built a house for those who will live and work on other planets. It was very exciting to watch their ideas come true as the competition progressed. ”

Since NASA’s appetites for deep-space exploration are gradually increasing, the question of suitable shelters for future explorers of other worlds is quite acute. At the same time, the problems of building a structure on the same Mars are connected, firstly, with severe restrictions on the delivery of the necessary materials, and secondly, with completely different terrain and atmosphere. The 3D-Printed Habitat Challenge, thus, was conceived as a way to slightly stimulate the emergence of self-sufficient residential complexes for extra-land through the use of freelance writers who were tasked with using additive technologies and local (or renewable) resources as raw materials.

Launched in 2014, the competition was divided into three phases:

  • Phase 1, Design; At this stage, it was required to provide detailed renders of all buildings. Completed in 2015. The total prize fund is $ 50,000.
  • Phase 2, Structural Components; the focus has shifted to the field of practical technologies and the development of structural elements. Completed in 2017. The total prize fund is $ 1,100,000.
  • Phase 3 (current), Construction Asylum; the task was to manufacture a large-scale prototype with five levels of representation — three physical and two virtual. For the virtual levels, the Building Information Modeling software was used, which allows assembling the finished building from pre-designed structures together with all the necessary systems taking into account the tolerances. For physical modeling, 3D printing was used, up to the construction at the last stage of the layout on a 1: 3 scale. The total prize fund is $ 2,000,000.

“We attracted the attention of a huge number of people who were eventually able to translate their ideas about the Martian city into a number of very innovative developments,” says Lex Akers, dean of the College of Engineering and Technology, “And the virtual levels allowed the participation of teams that did not have access to large 3D “printers, then to cooperate with those who had such an opportunity.”

The 3D-Printed Habitat Challenge was held under the joint auspices of the NASA Centennial Challenges and the Bradley University. The university was sponsored by Caterpillar and Bechtel , and as an administrator - Brick & Mortar Ventures. The Centennial Challenges program is conducted in the Space Technology Division, under the control of the George Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama.

Zopherus from Rogers, Arkansas, 1st place. Phase 3, stage 1. Watch the video of the virtual model.

AI. SpaceFactory from New York, 2 place. Phase 3, stage 1. Watch the video of the virtual model.

Kahn-Yates from Jackson, Mississippi, 3rd place. Phase 3, stage 1. Watch the video of the virtual model.

SEArch + / Apis Cor from New York, 4th place. Phase 3, stage 1. Watch the video of the virtual model.

Northwestern University from Evanston, Illinois, 5th place. Phase 3, stage 1. Watch the video of the virtual model.

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