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The Mars Artificial Atmospheric Envelope (M.A.A.E.) is designed to be a resilient shell to Mars’s extreme conditions while advancing 3D printing technologies with in-situ resources. M.A.A.E. utilizes a multilayer structural system comprised of both 3D printed in-situ material and an inflatable shell made of recyclable ETFE.


The 3D printing methods and structure are based on biomimicry. In nature, bees use hexagons to construct their hive as the symmetry reduces the complexity of the structure by its strength to efficiency ratio and its smallest total perimeter. The geometry helps maintain consistent sizing, allowing multiple bees to work in various construction areas concurrently. This natural occurrence sets the precedence for using multiple printers simultaneously during construction. To construct M.A.A.E., a new 3D printer had to be designed. The 3D printer is a composite system made up of four machines: a primary rover with material storage, the “queen bee,” connected to three smaller robotic 3D printers, “worker bees”. When designing the habitable area, there is a focus on the user’s psychological and physiological well being. Applied research in geometries, lighting, circulation, and spatial qualities determined the final form of the architecture. A three-winged structure focuses on defining adaptive programmatic areas surrounding a central research core. The interior space has a double-height area to provide a sensory break from the confined limits of astronaut life.


The Mars Artificial Atmospheric Envelope is an innovative structure advancing earthly technology and construction methods while improving upon micro-housing.



Team : Khalid nahas, noe figueroa, Alex Morales, Jordan Rich, Cameron hoskins, Karishma Goradia

Faculty Advisor: Professor Ryan Bacha

Photography: Justin Chan 

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