Yes, you read that correctly. MakerBot, a developer of desktop 3D printers, in conjunction with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, has launched a Mars Bars Thingiverse Design Challenge.
MakerBot and NASA-JPL ask creative individuals, “Could you live on Mars?” MakerBot in cooperation with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory is asking 3D printing enthusiasts to design a utilitarian Mars base. Designs must take into account Mars’ extreme cold, high radiation levels, lack of oxygen and frequent dust storms, and be designed to withstand these elements, yet still have the feeling of home, despite being 140 million miles away from Earth, on average.
Designs must be uploaded to Thingiverse with the tag #MakerBotMars. Entrants can be uploaded until June 12, 2014. Entries will be judged by a subjective panel of NASA-JPL and MakerBot employees and based on scientific feasibility, creativity and 3D printability.
The first place winner will receive: a MakerBot® Replicator® 2 Desktop 3D Printer valued at $1,999.00 + tax USD, three (3) spools of MakerBot PLA Filament, and have his or her MakerBot Mars Design featured on Thingiverse.com.
The second place winner will receive: two (2) spools of the latest MakerBot PLA Filament and have his or her MakerBot Mars Design featured on Thingiverse.com.
The third place winner will receive: one (1) spool of MakerBot PLA Filament and have his or her MakerBot Mars Design featured onThingiverse.com.
While I can see professional engineers interested in this project, simply because of it’s scope, this would also be a cool Science Fair project for students. Teachers, take note! Too bad they didn’t have this technology back when I was in school. I could have won that Science Fair trophy!