ROSIE - 3D Printed Habitat
We have finished designing and building our 2nd analog moon habitat which was designed, constructed, and installed all in 9 months!
Building on our learnings from LUNARK, it is a space-optimized structure, consisting of 2 and a half floors for a crew of 2 persons.
The floors and furniture is multi-functional, allowing for as many various activities as possible within the limited space. To further improve the comfort, we are installing the most sophisticated version of our circadian lights to date, to help the crew maintain a healthy circadian rhythm.
Like all of our projects, we draw inspiration from nature. The greatest designer, evolution, has already answered many questions, and we try to utilize them as best we can.
Airlock & Workshop (1st)
Living Quarters (2nd)
Sleeping Pods (3rd)
We decided that given Starship's promise as a future means of transportation in space, that this would be an opportunity to design around it as the primary transportation platform.
The very first constraint we decided to work from, is the dimensions of the Starship cargo bay. Given it's cylindrical nature, the first designs were focusing on circular shapes.
Since you can construct a hexagon with 6 triangles, and a hexagon approximating a circle, that if the footprint of the habitat was triangular, we could fit 6 of them in a single payload.
This also makes sense, when you realise the rough dimensions such a triangle has as a living space.
Then, by adjusting the curvature between a perfect triangle and circle, we can optimize a shape, that utilizes the space inside Starship even better, than the base shapes. The circle uses 67% of the footprint, the triangle 83%. Our shape wins at 86% (see below).
Finally, the shape also is a trade-off between footprint and strength, as visualized in the diagram below.
The final curvature and thickness at each edge was then optimized further using an algorithm as seen in the animations below.
The organic shape of the shell surface is indeed not arbitrary either. It is based on algorithmic optimizations called Topology Optimization, which slowly morphs a shape through many iterations, constantly evaluating the shapes and continuing with derivatives of the best ones.
In our case, the shape is being optimized to maximize strength for an internal pressure (since the habitat would be pressurized and the outside would be a vacuum), while minimizing the weight and material usage.
Finally, when satisfied with our results, we adjusted and cleaned up the shape to make it 3D printable and more aesthetic.
A 100 sketches
We like to start each project with at least a 100 sketches to brainstorm ideas and iterate quickly.
The construction process
More photos of the process
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