Well I’ll be a monkey’s uncle… just a few weeks ago I posted a few key obstacles that would hold us Earthlings back from the merits of 3d printing on Mars, the main one being lack of material resources… then comes along an article in The Canadian Press, about a father and son team, Alex and Sergei Dobrianski from British Columbia, Canada, who have been developing 3d printing technology that would the Moon’s natural resources and materials!
For over 5 years, the duo has been calculating and developing the technology to send a 3d printer to the moon that could extract and use the various fine-grained metals that are on the surface in order to build parts.
There are many metals available such as iron, aluminum, silicon and titanium all in oxidized form.
Alex’s son Sergie, 29, described the method in order to harvest oxidized metals from the dust and pointed out that it would release oxygen which could be utilized to create rocket fuel.
“Our vision is to 3D print. But even before that happens I believe we’ll be using those materials as a fuel depot,” Sergei said. “Imagine if you could start utilizing those materials to refuel satellites that are now in space.”
The Dobrianski partners are optimistic that they may only be about 5-7 years from making this a reality.
Personally I believe it could be much longer than that, but I’ve been wrong before!
Here’s what I do know… the courier charge to ship 3d printed parts from the Moon will be out of this world!