3D Printing Using Renewable Materials: Translating Lessons from Mars to Earth | Michael Bentley

3D Printing Using Renewable Materials: Translating Lessons from Mars to Earth

AI SpaceFactory took top honors in the NASA 3D-Printed Habitat Challenge. Their prototype also works well on Earth. Michael Bentley shares the work.


NASA's 3D-Printed Habitat Challenge, a three-phase competition to build a 3D-printed habitat that could be used on the moon or Mars, was completed in 2019. Design agency AI SpaceFactory was a competition winner. Their cylindrical structure, which they call MARSHA (short for Mars Habitat), is printed from an innovative mixture of basalt fiber extracted from Martian rock and PLA, a renewable bioplastic that can be made from plants grown on Mars. The team also created a model for use on Earth that they fittingly named TERA. They’ve already sold 400 units. Michael Bentley, design director at AI SpaceFactory, shares their approach, their process, and what it means for the future of construction.

About the speaker

Michael Bentley is the co-founder and design director of AI SpaceFactory, a multiplanetary and technology agency enabling the exploration of space and the sustainable habitation of Earth using large-scale 3D printing. Before that, he was a senior designer at Hariri Pontarini Architects. He holds a master’s degree in Architecture from the University of Waterloo.

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