Bricks have been 3D printed out of simulated moondust using concentrated sunlight. This ESA project took place at the DLR German Aerospace Center facility, with a 3D printer table attached to a solar furnace, baking successive 0.1 mm layers of moondust at a temperature of 1000°C. A 20 x 10 x 3 cm brick for building can be completed in around five hours.
This is proving in principle that future lunar colonists could one day use the same approach to build settlements on the Moon. As raw material, the test used commercially available simulated lunar soil based on terrestrial volcanic material, processed to mimic the composition and grain sizes of genuine moondust. The resulting bricks have the equivalent strength of gypsum, and are set to undergo detailed mechanical testing.