WASP has printer, will travel, to make houses

October 16, 2014 by Nancy Owano

Credit: WASP

At Maker Faire Rome, an Italian 3D printer company is demonstrating a tall, portable machine that will bring 3D-printed dwellings to impoverished countries. WASP has been exploring low-cost solutions to solve housing needs.

Wearing their company name WASP (World's Advanced Saving Project) on his t-shirt, the WASP CEO Massimo Moretti said in a video that the printer enables creators to work more closely with natural forms. The demo showed the printer layering treated mud. The tall machine is designed to make house structures for impoverished areas, said Mike Sinese, executive editor of Make. This is a 3-armed delta machine, largely held together with ratcheting straps, which can be assembled in two hours on site and filled with native mud and fiber. Sinese said "the demonstration of the custom extruders to work with a variety of materials shows the promise of the endeavor." While other groups have been showing 3D printed dwellings, he added, the WASP machine stands out in its ability to move and be assembled quickly and to use native materials for quick deployment.

As observed in 3D Printing Review, "WASP has a strong liking toward the natural substances that mostly come from the earth, over that of man-made plastics extruded from traditional 3D printers. WASP hopes that their focus on the 3D printing of clay will help 'revolutionize the 3D printing world'."

Moretti said in the Make magazine report that the first WASP house may happen next year in Sardinia. Wool in that instance would be used as a fibrous binder in the printer's mud.

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Meanwhile, the 3D Printing Industry site reported on another path for WASP. WASP sees use for their technology in the medical field, where "the company is in the process of exploring 3D printing implantable ceramics, such as hydroxylapatite, bioglass and aluminium oxide, to create bone implants with the same porous structure as natural bone." Michael Molitch-Hou reported that WASP developed a clay filament with the precision and control of plastic materials, which WASP plans to show at an upcoming print show in Paris.

"The group's latest 3D printer is capable of printing clay using a 0.35mm nozzle," said 3D Printing Review, "with the same degree of precision and control as that of FDM based plastic extruding 3D printers on the market today."

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