July 31, 2014

Since December 2012, Italian team Wasp (standing for 'World's Advanced Saving Project') has been working on development of 3D printers and research about clay printers and materials. Besides its original PowerWasp EVO desktop 3D printer, Wasp has also developed a series of delta printers suitable for all the needs of 3D printing, such as:

  • PowerWasp Evo, print volume 260mmx195mmx210 mm
  • Delta Wasp 2040, print volume diam. 200mmx h200mm
  • Delta Wasp 4060, print volume diam. 400mmx h600mm

The Wasp Team, led by Massimo Moretti, has been working very hard to develop large 3D printers for printing houses. The WasProject stems from the methods of the 'potter wasp' project which builds its own home using natural materials such as clay and soil. Inspired by this sustainable development model, Moretti decided to design a giant 3D printer capable of printing homes using clay and natural materials. It should be low cost and have low environmental impact.

In 2013 the WASP team unveiled the BigDelta, a very large volume 3D Delta printer. In the same year, the Team won the prestigious 3D Green Award at the 3D Printshow in London and five Maker of Merit Awards at the Maker Faire in Rome.

The positive feedback from 3D printing community inspired the team to quickly move forward. Their goal is to double the size of the BigDelta Wasp and build a 5m tall BigBig DeltaWasp. This is just the first step of a more challenging project: to build homes with a much larger printer. They also invest heavily in research of clay and composite materials in order to create the best combination as building material.

In March 2014 the Wasp Team attended the African Fabbers Project in Marakech, Morocco, as a technical partner. Massimo and his team studied the clay houses in the area and the material they used. They took the soil from the ground and mixed with other material to create building material to feed the BigDelta Wasp they brought there.

"The material research is a very critical for this project." said Davide Neri of WASP team. "In fact you need to get the optimal fluidity of the mixture to avoid that the material collapses when extruded."

During this experimental jouney, the team has also established a partnership with the Chemical and Materials Engineering Department of Politecnico of Milan. "Together we are conducting researches on new materials related to 3D printing, mostly focused on clay composites." Davide told us. " And today we are very confident that we found the right recipe that offers the needed features. The mixture we are now using is a blend of the following ingredients: clay, water, alcohol, oil and paper."

The ultimate goal is to be able to build homes for developing countries with their 3D printing technology and materials. Wasp Team has been producing and selling 3D consumer printers to fund the WasProject research and development. The original PowerWasp multi-tools can now print, mill, cut and even extrude different materials. During Expo Sanità tradeshow in Bologna in May, WASP team presented PowerWasp with a syringe that is capable of extruding Aluminum oxide (alumina), a biocompatible ceramic that has been used as a dental restorative material for years.

Posted in 3D Printing Company

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