Penn State’s 3D printing team, PennStateDen@Mars, has advanced to Phase 3, Level 4 of the NASA 3D-Printed Habitat Competition, after capturing a third-place victory in Phase 3, Level 3 of the competition.
The purpose of NASA’s 3D-Printed Habitat Competition is to curate new methods of developing a sustainable habitat in a variety of environments, specifically by using recycled materials and/or materials local to the specified environment. Essentially, the competition is seeking to find possible methods of constructing livable conditions by using 3D printing technology.
Phase 3, Level 3 required teams to create a 3D-printed shelter for the seal test stage of the challenge. The shelters were analyzed for their ability to hold a seal, for strength and for durability in extreme temperatures.
To secure their third-place victory and USD83, 755.92 in earnings, PennStateDen@Mars executed a hydrostatic leak test. This test consisted of filling the 3D printed structure with water to a particular level and then measuring the amount of time taken for water to escape the tank.
The successful completion of the seal-test challenge allowed the team to move on to the final level: constructing a 3D printed habitat that will be sustainable on Mars.