America Makes and NASA Award Top Three Finalists in 3D Printed Habitat Design Challenge

September 27, 2015 | Categories: America Makes News

Youngstown, Ohio — September 27, 2015. America Makes, the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute, and NASA proudly awarded three teams a total of $40,000 for the 3-D Printed Habitat Design Challenge.

Of the more than 165 submissions that were received, only the top 30 finalists displayed their models at the New York Maker Faire, September 26-27. A panel of industry experts judged the designs on many factors, including architectural concept, design approach, habitability, innovation, functionality, Mars site selection and 3-D print constructability.

The first-place award of $25,000 went to Team Space Exploration Architecture and Clouds Architecture Office for their design, ICE HOUSE. Second place and $15,000 was awarded to Team Gamma. Third place was awarded to Team LavaHive.

“I was completely blown away by the Top 30 finalist submissions, with each model exhibiting design innovation utilizing 3D printing technology to challenge conventional construction techniques,” said John Wilczynski, America Makes Deputy Director-Technology Development. “I would like to congratulate all of the Challenge participants and thank them for making the Design Competition an overwhelming success.”  The top 30 submissions can be viewed here.

“The creativity and depth of the designs we’ve seen have impressed us,” said Centennial Challenges Program Manager Monsi Roman. “These teams were not only imaginative and artistic with their entries, but they also really took into account the life-dependent functionality our future space explorers will need in an off-Earth habitat.”

The 3D-Printed Habitat Design Challenge, part of NASA’s Centennial Challenges program, is designed to advance the additive construction technology needed to create sustainable housing solutions for Earth and beyond. Shelter is among the most basic and crucial human needs, but packing enough materials and equipment to build a habitat on a distant planet would take up valuable cargo space that could be used for other life-sustaining provisions. The ability to manufacture a habitat using indigenous materials, combined with material that would otherwise be waste from the spacecraft, would be invaluable.

The Centennial Challenges Program is managed at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., for the agency’s Space Technology Mission Directorate in Washington.

For more information about the 3-D Printed Habitat Challenge, visit and

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About America Makes

America Makes is the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute. As the national accelerator for additive manufacturing (AM) and 3D printing (3DP), America Makes is the nation’s leading and collaborative partner in AM and 3DP technology research, discovery, creation, and innovation. Structured as a public-private partnership with member organizations from industry, academia, government, non-government agencies, and workforce and economic development resources, we are working together to innovate and accelerate AM and 3DP to increase our nation’s global manufacturing competitiveness. Based in Youngstown, Ohio, America Makes is the flagship Institute for the National Network of Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI) infrastructure of up to 45 Institutes to follow and is driven by the National Center for Defense Manufacturing and Machining (NCDMM). For more information about America Makes, visit


The NCDMM delivers optimized manufacturing solutions that enhance the quality, affordability, maintainability, and rapid deployment of existing and yet-to-be developed defense systems. This is accomplished through collaboration with government, industry, and academic organizations to promote the implementation of best practices to key stakeholders through the development and delivery of disciplined training, advanced technologies, and methodologies. For additional information, visit the NCDMM at