NASA and the National Additive Manufacturing Institute (America Makes) have launched the 3D Printed Habitat Challenge, an inaugural design competition offering $2.25 million in prizes. Part of NASA's Centennial Challenges program, the competition challenges entrants to design and build a 3D printed habitat for deep space exploration. "The future possibilities for 3D printing are inspiring, and the technology is extremely important to deep space exploration," said Sam Ortega, Centennial Challenges program manager. "This challenge definitely raises the bar from what we are currently capable of, and we are excited to see what the maker community does with it."
The competition is divided into two phases, with the first calling for "state-of-the-art architectural concepts" availing of the "unique capabilities" of 3D printing. The top 30 submissions will be eligible for a share of the $50,000 prize purse, to be awarded at the 2015 World MakerFaire in New York. The second phase, focused on fabrication and offering a $1.1 million prize, will be divided into the Structural Member Competition (level 1), and the On-Site Habitat Competition (level 2).
Competition winners will aid NASA in manufacturing habitats for both space exploration and affordable remote housing on Earth. Registration is now open. Learn more about the competition and how to enter here.