Published on 08 Dec 2021

Singapore’s first 3D-printed artefact to be sent to the moon

An intricately designed 3D-printed cube, which represents the melding of art and science, is one of the Singapore’s contributions to an exhibit that mankind will be sending to the Moon.

The cube, named Structure & Reflectance, is among a hundred artworks selected by the Moon Gallery Foundation, as the first permanent extraterrestrial art gallery, which is set to land on the Moon by 2025.

The 3D-printed cube was a collaboration between local architect and designer Lakshmi Mohanbabu and Asst Prof Matteo Seita from NTU’s School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and the School of Materials Science and Engineering.

To create the 3D-printed cube, figuring out a way to convey Ms Lakshmi’s ideas of duality and complexity in humans and nature using materials was the key challenge, said Asst Prof Seita.

Creating the small, intricate cube also showed the potential applications of 3D printing technology. "We're now able to create objects with both complex geometry and complex structure, which would be impossible to make with any other manufacturing process," said Dr Seita.

This project was supported by NAMIC, which linked up Ms Lakshmi with various scientists from different organisations to help her fabricate her designs.

Dr Ho Chaw Sing, co-founder and managing director of Namic, said: “Space is humanity’s next frontier. Being the only Singaporean – among a selected few from the global community – Lakshmi’s 3D-printed cube presents a unique perspective through the fusion of art and technology. We are proud to have played a small role supporting her in this ‘moon-shot’ initiative.”

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