A 3D-Printing Centered Approach to Mars Habitat Architecture and Fabrication

Matthew Troemner, Elham Ramyar, Jonathan Meehan, Benton Johnson, Nima Goudarzi, Gianluca Cusatis*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


It is seemingly inevitable that one day humans will land on the surface of Mars. Between the Apollo lunar missions, International Space Station, and Martian rovers and landers, much of the technology required to transport astronauts to Mars already exists; however, how those humans will live and sustain themselves on the Martian surface is yet to be clearly defined. Since at least the 1980s, researchers have envisioned what a Martian habitat may look like and what its inhabitants will require. Spanning from domed cities to lava tube shelters, the bases of conceived designs are vast. Through NASA's 3D-Printed Habitat Challenge, the American space agency has put large-scale 3D-printing technology at the forefront of this endeavor. This paper presents the rationale for the Martian habitat designed by Northwestern University, in partnership with Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, for submission in NASA's 3D-Printing Habitat Challenge Virtual Design Levels. The habitat includes housing for four astronauts, room for one year of supplies, 93 m2 living space, and various prescribed volumes of equipment, to name a few. Defined by a unique outer-parabolic and inner-hemispherical shell, the proposed habitat takes a 3D-printing-centered approach for its architecture and fabrication.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number04021109
JournalJournal of Aerospace Engineering
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2022


  • 3D-printing
  • Autonomous construction
  • Human exploration
  • In situ resource utilization
  • Interior configuration
  • Mars
  • Mission architecture
  • Structural design

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'A 3D-Printing Centered Approach to Mars Habitat Architecture and Fabrication'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this