M.A.A.E. (Mars Artificial Atmospheric Envelope)
This design was submitted to the America Makes Challenge hosted by NASA and Makers Faire. The Mars Articial Atmospheric Envelope (M.A.A.E.) is designed to be a resilient shell to Mars’s extreme conditions while advancing 3D printing technologies with in-situ resources. M.A.A.E. utilizes a multi-layer structural system comprised of both 3D printed in-situ material and inflatable shell made of recyclable ETFE. The 3D printing methods and structure are based on bio-mimicry. In nature, bees use hexagons to construct their hive as the symmetry reduces the complexity of the structure by its strength to efficiency ratio and its smallest total perimeter. The geometry helps maintain consistent sizing, allowing multiple bees to work on various construction areas concurrently. This natural occurrence sets the precedence for using multiple printers simultaneously during construction. To construct M.A.A.E., a new 3D printer had to be designed. The 3D printer is a composite system made up of four machines: a primary rover with material storage, the “queen bee,”connected to three smaller robotic 3D printers, “worker bees”. When designing the habitable area, there is a focus on the user’s psychological and physiological well being. Applied research in geometries, lighting, circulation, and spatial qualities determined the final form of the architecture. A three winged structure focuses on defining adaptive programmatic areas surrounding a central research core. The interior space has a double-height area to provide a sensory break from the conned limits of astronaut life. The design provides a unique opportunity for three separately located but integrated Environmental Control Life Safety Systems (ECLSS) that utilize the central dome for protection. Complementary parts were placed together for ease of connection while critical backup systems were placed separately to create a self-supported backup system. Placing critical operations in multiple locations assures that the malfunction or damage of a single unit does not fail the entire system. Each system focuses on one primary function and one secondary function.The Mars Artificial Atmospheric Envelope is an innovative structure advancing earthly technology and construction methods, while improving upon microhousing.