WASP has printer, will travel, to make houses

WASP has printer, will travel, to make houses
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.

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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Oct 16, 2014
3D Printing clay houses in impoverished areas. On the go. Sounds great!
How much $ per house?

Oct 16, 2014
3D Printing clay houses in impoverished areas. On the go. Sounds great!
How much $ per house?


Probably not much, but how long does it take? That thing is so slow that a single person can lay a brick wall ten times as fast. With a hydraulic press, probably make the bricks as well.

Oct 16, 2014
Isn't labor in impoverished areas going to be as cheap or cheaper? Don't they need these jobs?What happened to the concept of appropriate technology? It could be that these walls are stronger, insulate better and that the use of free, local, raw materials keeps more capital in the local economy which would be great.

Oct 17, 2014
This is printing a piece of a roof in the video, a sturdy long lasting roof that needs no lumber, in a place where no lumber was available anyway.

Although slow, these machines also need very little hand holding. The two people who ran the first one could probably run at least 10 more at the same time.

Also, how much labor is needed on each machine would be reduced by larger hoppers. This demonstration model can still be vastly improved. I think the optimal result would be a device that doesn't just print parts, but the whole building.

Oct 17, 2014
They're talking about using this in places that dont have traditional building material like bricks. or in disaster relief areas where all there is available right away is mud. it take skill to lay bricks and build house safely, this thing can build a small safe dwelling with no skill needed (other than the operator)

Oct 17, 2014
It could also be used to give them something more aesthetically pleasing than the regular square brick hut (or round mud hut).
Just because they can't afford high-end building materials doesn't mean that they can't be afforded some freedom of choice wrt design. Especially since such a printer doesn't care whether it prints square or round forms - that choice costs nothing.

I wouldn't be surpised if 3D printers replaced traditional ways of building houses all over the world in the mid-term future.

Oct 17, 2014
I still like the idea of blowing room sized bubbles from a pool of resin that hardens quickly for the out side wall, and a slightly smaller bubble for the inside wall. If you look at two bubbles on the same horizontal surface that are attached to each other, they create a perfect vertical wall where their attached. Round houses are so 70's though!

Oct 20, 2014
I still like the idea of blowing room sized bubbles from a pool of resin that hardens quickly for the out side wall, and a slightly smaller bubble for the inside wall.

It has its uses. The military uses this to quick-build hangars/bunkers. However, neither such a resin nor concrete are locally sourced materials.

The most original Idea I've seen for these bubble-spaces is to put them at the bottom of the ocean for hydrodynamic storage.

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