Massive 3D printer could someday crank out an entire moon base

This 3D printing tech becomes more amazing every day. First we see hints of the Star Trek replicator becoming reality, and now Italian inventor Enrico Dini's monster printer is so big it could literally fabricate an entire building out of sand. Good lord.

A computer running CAD software controls thousands of nozzles on the underside of his D-Shape printer. They spew out layer upon layer of sand, each 5 to 10mm thin, bound together with magnesium-based goo that makes the whole thing hard as a rock.

Dini says his printer could construct a building four times faster than the conventional method. It can print structures that are otherwise impractical, expensive, or impossible to build, too, such as intricately curved surfaces.

Next up for the D-Shape printer: the moon. The European Space Agency is talking with Dini about creating one of these printers that can use moon dust to fabricate an entire lunar base, if anyone ever makes it back to that desolate orb. Imagine a huge robotic printer creating an entire moon village that patiently awaits its inhabitants. Meanwhile, the printer is getting a lot of practice materializing magnificent sculptures.

Physorg, via Kurzweil AI