While 3D printing has been used to experiment with architecture already, WASP's plan does not simply throw up a suspiciously-indefensible concrete castle for your backyard. Crafting a triangular honeycomb wall design that can properly bear weight and outside impediments, the new WASP machine slowly layers on a solid structure that, if mixed with strong enough natural binding components, could prove to be as durable as anything our ancestors could have dug up once their cave neighborhood wasn't fashionable anymore.
|Ugh, cave-hipsters ruin everything.|
(Image courtesy fanpop.com.)
According to makezine.com, WASP uses a 20-foot tall, three-armed 3D printer that is portable (to aid in construction in remote areas) and can be assembled in two hours. It can use a variety of locally-available materials to construct its mud layers, including materials like wool (which is set to be tested when WASP prints a 3D hut in Sardinia.)
The WASP company rose to prominence as the second-largest 3D printing company in Italy by manufacturing various smaller 3D printers of exceptional quality. Their previous models have the ability to carve out creations, create food or adhesive products, or even design ceramic pieces that can then be glazed and fired. That's right, the next generation of fine Italian art might not come from the hands of a sculptor or painter, but rather from the design program entered into a 3D printer.
Is it worth it to use our new technological bounty in places where rudimentary handiwork has long sufficed? Will lives really be improved when one of the most time-honored types of local labor is outsourced to a large robot? Only time will tell. In the meantime, this extremely "green" type of housing may appeal to hut-home enthusiasts the world over. Clubs and pelts optional.
WASP's CEO Massimo Moretti examines a scale-model hut. Could mud be the material of a masterpiece?
(Image courtesy thehomesteadingboards.com.)