Now We Can 3D Print Homes for Next to Nothing, Using Mud

It may be big, but it isn't exactly fast.

9. 20. 16 by Jelor Gallego
WASP
Image by WASP

World’s Biggest

The world of 3D printing has certainly advanced far more than we could have ever expected. These incredible machines churn out everything from tools to actual organs. In fact, we even have 3D printers on the International Space Station.

It was only a matter of time before somebody went out and built them bigger. A company from Italy has created the world’s largest 3D printer, BigDelta, which is close to completing its first 3D printed home.

It’s medium of choice? Mud.

In a press release, the team working on the World’s Advanced Saving Project (WASP), described their target niche, low-cost housing:

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“International estimates foresee a rapid growth of adequate housing requirements for over 4 billion people […] The United Nations calculated that over the next 15 years there will be an average daily requirement of 100,000 new housing units to meet this demand.”

The Reality of Dream

To address this, WASP created a 3D printer 12 meters (39 feet) tall, making it the biggest 3D printer ever. It has a body more than 6 meters (20 feet) wide, and uses less than 100 watts of power.

It can print using dirt, clay, or mud, and the team is working on adding soil and straw to that list. The printer’s nozzle functions both to dispense materials and mix them together.

The downside? With size often comes sluggishness. The BigDelta was unveiled last year at an event called “The Reality of Dream.” Here, the team announced the start of their low-cost housing project. The printer, though, is just finishing its first house. At this steady pace, it can build up to 1 meter (3.3 feet) of material a day.

Essentially, if you’re in a rush, this might not be the best housing choice for you.

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