NASA has named the top three teams in the complete virtual construction phase of its 3D-printed habitat competition. the latest round saw teams create detailed virtual models of shelters designed specifically for life on mars, with the winners each claiming a share of US$100,000 ahead of the grand finale next month.


first launched in 2015, NASA’s 3D printed habitat challenge has invited teams from various areas to submit proposals for creating sustainable human habitats for use on the moon, mars and possibly beyond. since then, teams have developed their concepts through architectural renderings and virtual models, with the latest phase requiring teams to create fully fleshed out architectural layouts and the interior spaces.


videos by NASA’s marshall space flight center



the three winners of the most recent level of the contest were selected from a group of eleven team entries. taking top honors was the SEArch+/apis cor team from new york, which presented a twisted tower with trough-shaped ports on the sides and top. according to the team, its unique shape allowing for continuous reinforcement of the structure.

NASA names winners of 3D-printed space habitats for use on moon, mars and beyond designboom

images courtesy of NASA



taking second place was team zoperhous from arkansas, whose shelter is made up of connected modules. the team’s design includes using a moving printer that deploys rovers to retrieve local materials to create each module before connecting them to create an interconnected and expandable habitat.

NASA names winners of 3D-printed space habitats for use on moon, mars and beyond designboom



finally in third place the mars incubator team, a collection of engineers and artists from connecticut. their design consists of four spaces – a vestibule, a primary living space, a multi-use space and a bio-generation area for plant growth.




the next phase of the contest will see the 3D printed habitat challenge participants 3D print a sub-scale (1:3) model of their habitat. this phases will take place between may 1-4 with $800,000 in prize money up for grabs.



project info


type: competition

name: 3D-printed habitat

organizing body: NASA

finalists: SEArch+/apis cor team/team zopherous/mars incubator