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The everyday tech that could take us to the Moon

In the Engineering Edge Podcast "The everyday tech that could take us to the Moon" I discovered plans to 3D print structures on the moon using moon dirt. And also a wrench was one of the first items 3D printed in space. So I tried it myself ... .
I am an inventor, engineer, writer and presenter. Other stuff: Royal Academy of Engineering Visiting Professor of Engineering: Creativity and Communication at Brunel University London; Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers and have a PhD in bubbles; Judge on BBC Robot Wars.


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February 2, 2021 11:54

simplify the solution, make the head of the wrench double ended. To reverse it simply remove the socket, put it on the back side and it will turn the other direction. I would also create a pivoting point in the handel.

0 Votes

February 9, 2021 12:18

@Soulcrusher Great idea! As always, there are so many ways to solve this problem. The best tool always being the one you have in your hand!

February 1, 2021 13:46

  • Moderated

Two comments. I don't think that a double-ended ratchet drive is a solution. Better would be a switchable latch on a single drive. This could be a swing over latch as used on a trailer winch or duplicating the latch on the one-directional driver with a cam which holds off one latch at a time or leaves both latches on.

I have seen vibration plates used to help concrete through a long pipe. These are attached to the formwork but this requires far stronger formwork because the full hydraulic force of the concrete is applied as it all liquefies, the density of concrete is 2.5, however, vibrating the pipe would be reasonable. Vibration would be by motor-driven eccentrics. Electricity is from solar panels air is not replaceable.

The biggest problem of concrete in space would be that the water would instantly evaporate desiccating the cement. I would suggest resin as a more likely bonding material, dust can be used to fill it out to three or four times the volume. Both materials would lack tensile strength which requires some sort of fibre or metal reinforcement, carbon would be my preference on the basis of strength/weight.

Your 3D printers should be able to handle fibre or strand reinforcement and the manufacture of resin and dust mixes.

0 Votes

February 9, 2021 12:17

@fdonmedway Could the switch version be made without having to assemble the parts? But yes, another great idea.

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