Welcome at the homepage of the innovative network 3D4Space. You can find information about the project, contact persons and news about the current developments here. You can furthermore download selected presentations, papers and pictures that were created in the scope of 3D4Space. 



This week, a group of ERIG students from TU Braunschweig visited the Institute for Recycling from Ostfaila. Under supervision of Eric Homey, they produced filaments from used window frames. It was a great and intersting experience for the students to go through the process of filament production. Furthermore, ERIG is happy to have new filaments for 3d printing. The filament will be used - beside other purposes - to manufacture parts for the ERIG-rover Orthos. This opportunity was made possible through the cooperation within 3D4Space and is one out of many examples on the positive influence of 3D4Space on the teaching of the cooperating universities.




We wish all visitors of this project homepage a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year 2019. We will inform you in the new year as well at this point about the latest developments in 3D4Space.




Today, one of the semi-annual meetings of the 3D4Space team took place - occasion to present some of our latest advances. In subproject D, for example, we conducted compression experiments with the regolith simulant TUBS-M. The simulant is pressed into a closed mold. Subsequently, the mold is opened. Our hope was that the regolith simulant would retain its shape. The reality, however, looks like this:

In subproject B, a process chain for the production of regolith simulants with consistent quality has now been established. This consists of the following three steps:


This is how terrestrial rocks become moon-like regolith simulants. The mixture obtained matches the particle size distribution fairly exactly with samples from the Moon.

In subproject F there are also exciting news. It was examined which technologies and thus also innovaton transfers result from the development of a Moon Village. It became clear that the Moon village technology influences many areas of earthly life. Since the Moon village pursues a sustainable approach to the return of humans to the Moon, there are a particularly large number of innovation transfers that also lead to a more sustainable life on Earth.

In subproject E, filament was made from a variety of non-recycled and recycled plastics. From both types, samples were manufactured additively and the mechanical properties were compared in a tensile test.


In addition, PLA filaments were filled with up to 40% of regolith simulant and succesfully processed with 3D printers.


01. - 05.12.2018

In the first week of October, the International Astronautical Congress (IAC) 2018 took place in Bremen. The IAC is one of the largest international space congresses. The Institute of Space Systems (IRAS) from TU Braunschweig has seized the opportunity and presented itself at its own booth. The project 3D4Space was introduced there to a large audience from space sciences and the public. Visitors of the booth found a poster presenting an overview of the various subprojects of 3D4Space. In addition, the rover - arm demonstrator MIRA3D with printhead dummy and the regolith simulants TUBS - M and TUBS - T were exhibited.

Furthermore, we had the opportunity to present our current progress in the project 3D4Space in two talk sessions and the accompanying papers "MIRA3D - a terrestrial robotic prototype for additive layer manufacturing of lunar regolith" IAC-18, A3,2B, 11, x43642 by A. Voss et al. and "TUBS-M and TUBS-T - new lunar regolith simulants adaptable to local surface characteristics" IAC-18, A3, 2B, 11, x43642, by S. Linke et al.. Both talk sessions were followed with interest and enabled us to have a good exchange with other scientists.



For the development of the 3D4Space regolith simulants a visit at  a lava plant of the Eifel was performed in which several samples were taken with kind support of AG Stein (www.agstein.de). The layered material at Eifel originates from large eruptions of an Eifel volcano and covers a wide range of different volcanic rocks up to fine ashes that equal some componets of lunar regolith. Currenlty, the samples are analysed and characterised in the IRAS laboratory in order to find the most suitable layers of deposits.



In the first week of October, the International Astronautical Congress 2018 will take place in Bremen, Germany. The Institute of Space Systems is running booth number 5 C 87 and present - amoung other things - the rover-arm-prototype MIRA3D, the regolith simulants TUBS-M und TUBS-T and melting probes there. Project results are presented in the conference speeches "MIRA3D – a robotic prototype for additive layer manufacturing on the Moon" in session A3.2B. Moon Exploration – Part 2 and "TUBS-M and TUBS-T - new lunar regolith simulants adaptable to local surface characteristics" in session 2C. Moon Exploration – Part 3.



Last week, first tests with the printinghead dummy for the prototype MIRA3D were carried out. The dummy is used for interface tests and algorithm development as long as the final printing head is under developement. The dummy simulates mass, inertia, geometry and the most important parts of the final printing head that is used for additive layer manufacturing of lunar regolith.




In the forthcoming annual report of the HBK Braunschweig in which the university reports projects, results and highlights in education and research as well as cooperation and international news, the work of the Institute of Transportation Design as part of the innovation-network 3D4Space is presented.



The Institute of Transportation Design has developed various communication media for the innovation network 3D4Space. Many scenario-visualizations are produced based on the systematic generation of future projections, serving both the internal and external communication process. The pictures demonstrate for example, the application of a rover in the "Moon Village", which uses the 3D printing process to build habitats with existing materials.


The lunar lander „Lunar 27“ on its way to Moon. Source: Michael Grasshoff (ITD)

Construction of a Moon village with additive layer manufacturing. Source: Michael Grasshoff (ITD)

Earth-bound application of additive layer manufacturing of mineral materials



Inspired by the vision of 3D4Space, a group of students met today to start new research in the field of space robotics. The rover group that was founded is part of ERIG, a student space research club that was founded in 1999.



Today, the robotic part of the 3D4Space prototype MIRA3D arrived at the Institute of Space Systems. MIRA3D is the abbreviation of “MobIle Robot Arm prototype for 3D printing”. It is used for a proof-of-concept of the “Powder Feed Fused Deposition Modeling” (PF-FDM) process developed within 3D4Space. The PF-FDM process fabricates three dimensional structure of lunar regolith by extruding melted regolith. The prototype consist of the 3D-prititng head developed at the Institute of Engineering Design, a robotic arm for the positioning of the printing head and a mobile robot platform that enables flexible printing at different locations.

The 3D4Space prototype MIRA3D



Today, the Institute of Space Systems was visited by Ms. Nash and Dr. Cowley from the European Astronaut Center (EAC), ESA. In the meeting, we discussed our current space exploration activities. One topic was the LUNA-facility currently under construction at EAC. The LUNA-facility is a big testbed used to train astronauts for missions to the Moon and other celestial bodies. Beside astronaut training, LUNA is also available for testing of robotic systems, such as the 3D4Space prototype MIRA3D.


Discussion about the regolith simulants developed in 3D4Space



The radio ffn broadcasted an interview with Prof. Enrico Stoll today. In the interview, he reported about the vision of a Moon village and the contribution of 3D4Space to this vision. You can find the interview here



The grinding process of the regolith production could be successfully upscaled! Previously, only about 200 g of regolith simulant could be produced per batch. By using a different mill, average throughputs of 3 kg/min can now be achieved. In addition, the shape of the simulant particles shall be improved by a type of stress on the particles in the mill, whereby the cohesive properties come even closer to the ones of real lunar dust.

View into the grinding chamber of the mill.



In the radio report "Campus On Air", broadcasted as part of a cooperation project between the Technical University of Braunschweig and the editorial office "Students" of the radio station Okerwelle, the research staff Dr. Dirk Thomas and Dr. Mathias Wiehle from the Institute of Transportation Design reported about the work in the 3D4Space project. The program was broadcasted on 31.01.2018 on Radio.



Today, Ms. Sato and Prof. Yoshida from Tohoku University in Japan visited the Institute of Space Systems. Prof. Yoshida researches in the field of Space Robotics for many years. In his presentation "Robotics for Space Exploration: Challenge to the Moon and Beyond" he shared his knowledge with interested students. Afterwards both universities presented their research in the field of space robotics. Additionally, an exchange agreement between Tohoku University and TU Braunschweig for students and scientists was signed.


Meeting of representatives between the Institute of Space Systems and Tohoku University



The Journal of Space Exploration published the article “3D4 Space - Advanced Systems, Components, and Novel Methods for Planetary Exploration with Wheeled Mobile Robots” which presents the project 3D4Space.



Three students from TU Braunschweig recorded an interview with Eric Homey from Institute for Recycling and Anna Voß from Institute of Space Systems. The interview which will be broadcasted at the 31th of January 2018 in Radio Okerwelle is about the future of humankind in space and its connection to our work in 3D4Space.


Recording of the Interview



3D4Space is presented in the magazine of TU Braunschweig. read more


4. – 6. 12.2017

Prof. Enrico Stoll presented the idea of additive layer manufacturing on the Moon at the STE2017-II meeting of the DLR Explorer initiatives. The audience was very interested in the topic.




A "building block system" was developed at iPAT as part of the production of the lunar regolith simulants TUBS-M and TUBS-T. The simulant material is separated into different particle fractions by classification processes, which enables the production of regolith simulants with individual composition and particle size distribution. Special requirements (e.g. for rover missions or lunar bases) can be realized by adding additional components. With this modular process chain, it is possible to simulate nearly any desired composition of the entire moon surface.

Different particle size fractions of TUBS-M. The fraction <90 µm will also be further separated.



Recently, the production of the lunar regolith simulants TUBS-M and TUBS-T from terrestrial rock materials by grinding, classification and classification processes on a laboratory scale started at the iPAT. The extensive analyses of the simulant materials showed promising results. Two basic simulant materials have been chosen due to their chemical and mineralogical composition: one for the basaltic mare soils (TUBS-M) and one for the plagioclase-rich highlands (terrae; TUBS-T). Now we can start with the scale-up to be able to produce larger quantities in the future.

The lunar regolith simulants TUBS-M and TUBS-T.