Martian rock-metal composite could enable 3D printing on Mars

Crushed Martian rock is used, mixed with a titanium alloy, to make a strong, high-quality material that could one day be used to 3D print tools or rocket parts on Mars.

Researchers at Washington State University (WSU) made the materials as little as 5%, up to 100%, Martian regolith - a black powdery substance that appears to imitate rock, inorganic material on the surface of the Earth.

According to Amit Bandyopadhyay, the corresponding author of the study published in the International Journal of Applied Ceramic Technology, the 3D part printed on 5% Martian regolith is solid, while the 100% regolith part was found to be broken and fast

Although materials with a high Martian content will still be useful in making insulation to protect equipment from rust or radiation damage

"In space, 3D printing is what will happen if we want to think about human activity, because we cannot transfer everything from here," said Amit Bandyopadhyay, a professor at the School by Mechanical said.

in Materials Engineering from WSU. "But if we forget something, we can't go back for it."