puddingebola writes: Researchers at Washington State University have found a new application of 3D printing. From the article, "With 10 pounds of simulated lunar dirt (or regolith) in hand, NASA officials approached researchers at Washington State University and challenged them to melt and resolidify the fake moon rock using 3D laser printing technology, which produces objects layer by layer based on a computer model." Using a simulant of the regolith, or powdery material found on the moon, the researchers "fed the raw simulant powder into a 3D printer, heating the material to high temperatures and printing it out in smooth half-millimeter (0.02 inches) layers to form small cylindrical shapes with no visible cracks. The structures that came out of the printer were about as hard as typical soda lime glass, the researchers explain in a study detailing the recent experiments in the Rapid Prototyping Journal. [10 Cool Moon Discoveries]"
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