NASA 3D-Printed Habitat Competition Coming to Illinois

NASA’s 3D-Printed Habitat Challenge logo
NASA’s 3D-Printed Habitat Challenge logo

NASA’s 3D-Printed Habitat Challenge is advancing the additive construction technology needed to create sustainable housing for deep space exploration. The competition is currently in Phase 2: Level 3, with teams competing for $500,000 in prize money.

Teams will be 3-D printing structural habitat pieces August 24-26, 2017, in front of a judges’ panel and the public. The samples will then be crush-tested and evaluated, and teams will be awarded prize money for successful completion of competition objectives.

Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois, is NASA’s 3D-Printed Habitat Challenge partner, and Caterpillar Inc. is a sponsor and site host. All challenge activities will take place at the Caterpillar Edwards Demonstration and Learning Center, located at 5801 N Smith Road, Edwards, Illinois.

The 3D-Printed Habitat Challenge offers a $2.5 million total prize, and challenges teams to create 3-D printers capable of creating large-scale, habitable structures using materials that would be available on the surface of Mars and recyclables.

The teams competing in Phase 2: Level 3 are:

  • MoonX Construction of Seoul, South Korea
  • CTL Group Mars of Skokie, Illinois
  • FormForge of Oregon State University, Corvallis
  • Foster + Partners | Branch Technology of Chattanooga, Tennessee
  • Pennsylvania State University of University Park

Schedule of events:

Thursday, August 24

  • Teams will 3-D print cylinders and beams from 8am-6pm.

Friday, August 25

  • Teams will 3-D print domes, and their cylinders and beams will be stress- tested from 8am-8pm.
  • Bradley University and Caterpillar will host Education Day, with nearly 300 area students attending.

Saturday, August 26

  • 3D-printed domes will be stress-tested from 9am-1pm.
  • Awards ceremony will be from 3-5pm.
  • Bradley University and Caterpillar will host a Community Day, with more than 800 visitors expected.

For more information about the 3D-Printed Habitat Challenge, visit

For more information about other challenges and prize opportunities with NASA, visit

NASA’s Centennial Challenges program is part of the agency’s Space Technology Mission Directorate, and is managed at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. STMD uses challenges to gather the best and brightest minds in academia, industry and government to drive innovation and enable solutions in important technology focus areas.


Source: Molly Porter, Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, Alabama

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