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3D Printer Constructs Houses with Mud for People in Impoverished Areas

3d pritned house

Image credit: Screen shot via Make

It is reported that more than one billion people all over the world are homeless or live in shabby houses. With the development of 3D printing, people are considering to apply this new technique to quickly building houses with concrete so as to solve such crisis.

However the feasibility of this method has some problems in terms of creation of a secure dwelling, raw material delivery and big-sized printers, thus the cost would be largely increased.

Here is the good news! To address this problem, WASP, the 3D printing company from Italy has developed a machine which is transportable easily. Such machine is able to rapidly produce dwellings with mud and natural fibers actually available in the place where the houses are going to be built.

Constructing houses with mud is a long-time practice for human beings. As a matter of fact, we have been building out of mud with fiber binders for centuries. But, this latest method of the Australian company has some unique advantages. The amount of surface area could be much increased through extruding the mud in this way, which would make such area habitable quite quicker than builders have to wait for thick bricks to become dry before construction work starts. Furthermore, the triangular shapes between the walls could allow the surface area to be stronger so as to bear more weight than done in conventional methods and save more necessary materials. By application of this new method, houses of 3 meter-tall could be built with much space.

Recently at Maker Faire Rome, an influential event displaying innovative technology from every corner of the world, WASP introduced a scaled-down version of its ongoing project. Owing to the limitations of space and time, the company engineers could not really construct the house on the spot, however, but they had succeeded in showing a proof of concept and presenting a model of palm size.

3d printed home

Image credit: WASP

The design of printer is quite simple. Being supported by a tripod structure, the head of extruder is fed with a mixture of mud and natural fiber, like wool. In addition, this method can ensure the homes to have the attractive and interesting shapes architecturally, so owners are able to flex their innovative muscles in a proud way

WASP is the short term of World’s Advanced Saving Project, which is targeted on offering independent housing to poor people globally with combination of art and science. Although the company might not make profit from investment of this technology, such altruistic activity is funded from its selling 3D printers, which can deal with different materials, including traditional plastic as well as ceramic to be glazed and fired in a kiln.

It is said that the company is inspired from the potter wasp, whose nests are built like the shape of clay pottery. By doing so, the wasps mix mud and hair to produce stable nests so as to protect their young from the nature.

Hopefully, WASP is planning to construct the first 3D printed home tentatively next year. As for the location, no official plan has yet to be released. However, Sardinia might be the alternative. It is an island off the coast of Italy in the Mediterranean Sea. Although this island should be not the poorest area in the world, it is located very near to the company. In this way, the closeness would be much helpful in getting all the kinks ready in the process before they are transported to further remote locations.

If you want to know more about the operation of machine, please watch the following video.