WASP: A 3D printer to build mud houses
Build houses and giants buildings using 3D printers is nothing absurd. In recent years we have seen initiatives personal and professional , seeking to revolutionize the construction industry by applying faster and economic mechanisms. During Maker Faire that was held in Rome earlier this month, the people of WASP presented a 3D printer to manufacture houses in rural areas, based on mud .
Undoubtedly, one of the oldest materials used (and still use) to build is the adobe. From a technical standpoint, the adobe is nothing more than the combination of mud, sand, water and a fibrous component as straw encased in brick form. Over the centuries humans have created all kinds of mud structures, from simple shelters to entire cities. The availability of modern building materials makes the mud seems not be a long-sought alternative but that feeling disappears as we move to inaccessible areas or where traditional materials are found to be prohibitive in terms of cost.Considering this factor, any transfer of equipment could be very complicated but if the people of WASP has its way, all you have to move would be a 3D printer.
In the last Maker Faire in Rome the WASP CEO Massimo Moretti presented a prototype 3D printer that uses as “Filament” a special mixture of clay and fibrous material . When I say “special mix” I mean that the printer requires a constant supply of liquid enough mud and debris free as not to adversely affect the operation of the extruder. In fact, Moretti explained that the development of the extruder has been a considerable challenge and as new variants are manufactured, the 3D printer may apply other mixtures. For now, the prototype has a height of six meters and can print structures two meters wide and three high. Moretti said that it is very easy to move and only requires the effort of two people for assembly.
WASP has funded the research and development of this 3D printer thanks to the income generated by its printer models for general consumption, which not only work with plastic but also ceramics. The next step is to find a place that allows to perform a stronger test concept. Moretti said that this place could be the island of Sardinia, next year.