AIAA Members Invited to Participate in NASA's 3D-Printed Habitat Challenge Written 15 November 2016

NASA's 3D-Printed Habitat Challenge seeks to foster development of new technologies to additively manufacture a habitat using local indigenous materials with, or without, recyclable materials, in space and on Earth.
The three-part competition asks citizen inventors to use readily available and recyclable materials for the raw material to print habitats.

  • Phase 1 of the 3D-Printed Habitat Challenge, a design competition, was completed in 2015. Teams developed innovative habitat architectural concepts that take advantage of the unique capabilities that 3D printing offers.
  • Phase 2 , the Structural Member Competition, focuses on the material technologies needed to manufacture structural components from a combination of indigenous materials and recyclables, or indigenous materials alone. NASA may use these technologies to construct shelters for future human explorers to Mars. On Earth, these same capabilities could also be used to produce affordable housing wherever it is needed or where access to conventional building materials and skills is limited. Phase 2 has a prize purse of $1.1 million, and also serves as a qualifier for participation in Phase 3.
  • Phase 3, the On-Site Habitat Competition (to be announced at a later date), will focus on the 3D-Printing fabrication of a scaled habitat design, using indigenous materials combined with or without recyclables, and will have a prize purse of $1.4 million.

NASA has partnered with Bradley University, in Peoria, Illinois, and sponsors Caterpillar, also in Peoria, Bechtel, and Brick & Mortar Ventures, both in San Francisco, for Phase 2 of the competition.

Phase 2 Schedule

  • Oct. 6, 2016 — Registration begins
  • Jan. 31, 2017 — Registration closes
  • March 31, 2017 — Level 1 submission deadline (must be received at Bradley University)
  • May 31, 2017 — Level 2 submission deadline (must be received at Bradley University)
  • Aug. 24-27, 2017 — Level 3 head-to-head competition at Caterpillar Edwards Facility