SEArch+ / Apis Cor has won the Top Prize in the first Construction round of NASA’s Phase 3 3D-Printed Habitat Competition. For this level, they printed a foundation and subjected it to various tests, including dropping a shotput on it to simulate a meteor strike. Watch the full video of their entry and testing. For this level of the competition, teams had to additively construct a foundation slab without human intervention. The slabs were evaluated and scored based on multiple criteria, including strength, durability and material composition. To test their strength, a standard Olympic shot put was dropped on each slab three times to simulate a meteor strike. For durability, each slab was subjected to freeze/thaw tests, enduring temperature extremes. The teams earned prize money based on scores assigned by a panel of subject matter experts from NASA, academia and industry.
“This level prepares the teams for more difficult levels to come, and they had to do it autonomously, which adds an extra level of difficulty that will be necessary for space exploration,” said Monsi Roman, program manager for NASA’s Centennial Challenges. “Each of the skills tested in these levels will come into play for the final competition next spring.”