3D printed houses planned for Mars and other planets

Last updated at 11:13
3D printing houses on the surface of the Moon using concrete made from the lunar surfaceContour Crafting
The Contour Crafter could print housing on the surface of the Moon using concrete made from lunar rock

A giant robotic printer could build houses on Mars and other planets.

The technology called Contour Crafting involves printing buildings in 3D layers of concrete.

It is very expensive to transport building materials to other planets. Sending just one kilogram of material costs over £60,000.

Dr Khoshnevis, the US scientist behind the plans, explains "you should really come up with ways of building huts with the material that is there."

The printer works on prototype lunar project buildingscontour crafting
The printer is currently being tested
Prototype lunar buildingContour crafting
Could a house on Mars look like this in the future?

The technology will also be of use closer to home.

It could be used in areas where there is a high demand for quick, cheap and safe housing. Entire buildings can be created in 24 hours.

People will be able to design their own home, download a design file and build it using a giant 3D printer.

3D printer building a housecontour crafting
The walls built by the Contour Crafter are over three times as strong as an ordinary wall

It could also provide emergency accommodation after natural disasters.

However, the technology currently only uses concrete so can't replace the need for glass, steel or wood.