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Additive Construction for Mobile Emplacement (ACME) Project

Project Introduction

Additive Construction with Mobile Emplacement (ACME) is like 2D and 3D printing on a large (structure) scale using in-situ resources for construction materials. ACME is a joint effort between NASA/GCD and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE). Applications on terrestrial and planetary surfaces.

Technologies Within this Project

Technology Details: Additive Construction Using In-Situ Materials

This technology is categorized as a hardware system for ground scientific research or analysis

Description of technology:

The ACME project employs layered fabrication techniques on a much larger scale, using in-situ materials, to generate surface structures to support a manned presence on non-Earth planetary bodies.

Capabilities provided:

The ACME project will allow, for the first time, the development of surface structures on non-Earth planetary bodies, using local materials, thereby tremendously reducing launch upmass.

Potential applications:

Potential terrestrial applications include the development of surface structures using Earth-based materials for emergency response, disaster relief, housing at all economic levels, and other applications as desired.

Performance metrics:

Description of Performance Metric Unit Quantity
Deposition Rate in/min 30

Anticipated Benefits

Benefits to NASA unfunded & planned missions

This project will benefit NASA as it develops concepts for habitat development on other planets, where launch upmass is at a premium and in-situ materials lend themselves well as construction materials.

Benefits to other government agencies

This project benefits the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) in their attempts to develop automated construction systems to replace plywood-based B-huts currently in use. These resulting structures would take less time to build, require less mass brought in-theater, require fewer personnel, have less waste, and culd be left for local populations to inhabit when finished.

U.S. Work Locations and Key Partners

NASA Organizations Performing Work Role Location
  • Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC)
Lead Center Huntsville, AL

U.S. States with Work:

 
U.S. States and Territories with Work on this Project
Alabama Hawaii
California Illinois
Florida
Other Organizations Performing Work Type of Organization
  • Contour Crafting, Inc. 
Commercial Company
  • Pisces, Inc. 
Commercial Company
  • U.S. Army Corps of Engineers 
Government Agency

Organizational Responsibility

Responsible Mission Directorate:

Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD)

Lead Center:

Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC)

Responsible Program:

Game Changing Development Program

Project Management

Program Executive:

  • Lanetra Tate

Program Manager:

  • Mary Wusk

Project Manager:

  • John Vickers

Principal Investigator:

  • Lanetra Tate

Project Technology Areas

Primary:

  • Human Exploration Destination Systems (TA 7)
    • Sustainability and Supportability (TA 7.2)
    • Repair Systems (TA 7.2.3)
    • Additive Manufacturing (Three-Dimensional (3D) Printing) (TA 7.2.3.9)
    • Additive Manufacturing (Three-Dimensional (3D) Printing) (TA 7.2.3.9)

Secondary:

  • Human Health, Life Support, and Habitation Systems (TA 6)
  • Materials, Structures, Mechanical Systems and Manufacturing (TA 12)

Additional Technology Areas:

  • Human Exploration Destination Systems (TA 7)
    • Sustainability and Supportability (TA 7.2)
  • Materials, Structures, Mechanical Systems and Manufacturing (TA 12)
    • Materials (TA 12.1)
    • Materials for Extreme Environments (TA 12.1.4)
    • Structures (TA 12.2)
    • Innovative, Multifunctional Concepts (TA 12.2.5)
    • Mechanical Systems (TA 12.3)
    • Deployables, Docking, and Interfaces (TA 12.3.1)
    • Manufacturing (TA 12.4)
    • Manufacturing Processes (TA 12.4.1)
    • Cross-Cutting (no content) (TA 12.5)

Project Duration

Start Date: Jan 2015

End Date: Sep 2017

Project Technology Maturity

  • Start
  • Current
  • Estimated End
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
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