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3D4Space – Additive manufacturing technologies for innovative space travel – „printing on the moon“

Contact person: Lisa Windisch

Currently, aerospace is undergoing global dynamic growth driven by new technologies and easier access to space. In the course of this development and the foreseeable end of the operational life of the International Space Station ISS, space research is increasingly concentrating on longer distant targets. To allow the permanent presence of man on the moon, technologies are needed which are able to use local resources and recycle existing material. Known as being very environmentally- and resource-friendly, additive manufacturing processes – colloquially known as “3D-Printing” – are predestined for the highly-efficient aerospace sector. It allows to directly-process components, consumables or whole habitats (Moon Villages) on-the-spot without tools or generation of waste. This so-called in-situ use of resources plays a decisive role in aerospace which is always limited by the use of available materials. Furthermore, these energy- and resource-saving technologies, materials and recycling concepts have a huge potential for countless new earthbound fields of application, for instance, in lightweight construction, electromobility or in the sectors of innovative sustainable materials and recycling of composite materials.

An artistic impression about the autonomic creation of a lunar base using innovative 3D-printing technologies by Michael Grasshoff from the Institute of Transportation Design (HBK)

In close collaboration with the affiliated partners

  • Institute of Space Systems (iras) at the TU Braunschweig (leader of the innovation network)
  • Institute for Engineering Design (IK) at the TU Braunschweig
  • Institute for Transportation Design (ITD) at the Braunschweig University of Art (HBK)
  • Institute for Recycling (IfR) at the Ostfalia University of Applied Sciences
    core topics in the field of autonomous and robust robotic systems, material conditioning for further processing of mineral materials and polymers in space, application of functional polymers in space, processing of mineral materials under space conditions and innovative recycling technologies for highly-filled polymers will be explored and developed in greater depth. By pooling of the wide-ranging expertise, the innovation network is able to meet demanding technical and societal challenges, to establish sustainable key technologies in the region and to have national and international significance beyond the project term.

    Project term: 01.05.2017 – 20.04.2020
    Project sponsors:

    Team Members

    Current Projects
    DEFACTO: Battery design and manufacturing optimisation through multiphysic modelling more

    HIPO STACK: High Power Redox Flow Stacks more

    Simulation based modelling of time- and shear-dependent disperse and rheological properties of cement suspensions more

    3D4Space – Additive manufacturing technologies for innovative space travel – „printing on the moon“ more

    Nanofluidics & Particle manipulation – Production and characterization of metrological, hierarchical nano- and microstructures more

    FOR 2021 “Active principles of nanoscale matrix additives for fibre reinforced lightweight structures” more

    Dynamic Process Models for Fine Grinding and Dispersing more


    Finished Projects
    Processing of nanoparticles out of poorly water-soluble drugs by precipitation and drying using microsystems more