About the author  ⁄ Caitlin T. Mueller, Ph.D.

Caitlin T. Mueller is an Assistant Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the Departments of Architecture and Civil and Environmental Engineering.  She leads the Digital Structures research group, which focuses on new digital technologies for the design and fabrication of innovative structures.

Engineering Habitats for the Moon and Mars

Several decades after the first space age, there is renewed interest in space exploration and specifically in future human habitation far beyond the Earth’s surface. NASA recently received funding with an ambitious target: to send a manned mission to Mars by the 2030s and allow for future human habitats and even cities.

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Technologies for 3D printing, or more broadly additive manufacturing, have proliferated in recent years, and have captured the public’s imagination as a revolutionary way to democratize small-scale, customized manufacturing for the DIY community. In the design of buildings and bridges, 3D printing has proven to be a valuable technique for creating intricately detailed scale models in a fraction of the time required by traditional methods.

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