Jul 19, 2016 | By Benedict

Workers at the WASP Technological Village in Italy—home of the 12-meter-tall Big Delta WASP 3D printer—are inviting makers to help build their first ever 3D printed adobe building during a series of weekend workshops. The project, set to begin on July 23, will use eco-friendly local materials.

As one of the world’s biggest 3D printers, the 12-meter-tall Big Delta 3D printer from WASP isn’t just stuck under some maker’s desk. It’s far too big for that. So big, in fact, that the monstrous additive manufacturing machine actually has a whole “village” dedicated to its operation. The Shamballa Technological Village, a 3D printing workspace located in an industrial zone in the Italian commune of Massa Lombarda, Ravena, is currently undertaking numerous tests and experiments as it prepares the giant 3D printer for its biggest test yet: printing an adobe house. Don’t let that crazy situation make you (or your desktop 3D printer) feel small though, because Shamballa wants you to join its community. As of this weekend, the additive manufacturing village will be inviting makers to take part in a series of weekend workshops as it begins to build the 3D printed clay house.

3D printed buildings have long been mooted as one of the most exciting targets for the additive manufacturing industry. Proponents of such technology have commented that, once perfected, lightning-fast additive construction methods could help build shelters in underdeveloped communities and even provide quick solutions in crisis zones. Factor in the potential for complex and unusual designs, and 3D printed houses start to become a very exciting proposition. Despite the positives, questions do remain over how eco-friendly and efficient these additive manufacturing building sites would be. That’s why the team at Shamballa is looking to source local, eco-friendly materials for the Big Delta 3D printer to print with. Using a mixture of terrain and straw kneaded with a mixing machine and motor hoe, the construction pioneers have already tried 3D printing a 50-centimeter-high wall. Encouragingly, the structure has proved to be lightweight and strong, so the team will continue with this mixture as they endeavor to build the complete house.

The foundations have been laid for this exciting 3D printing project, but the real fun begins this weekend, July 23, when the Technological Village hosts its first open-air workshop for anybody interested in 3D printing, construction, and sustainable living. Other impressive 3D printers, such as the pellet- and fluid-printing DeltaWASP 3MT, will be brought to the village especially for the workshops, which will take place every weekend for the duration of the construction. These additional printers will enable the team to print with different materials for different aspects of the projects. The first workshop, for example, will be about making 3D printed furniture for the house, with forthcoming workshops set to explore vertical vegetable gardens, ceramic plate printing, and kiln construction.

“The working method is simple: for every problem we look for the best solution,” the Shamballa team explained in a press release. “Every day we are learning more and more, managing small and big problems and trying to solve them. The test we started last Saturday seems impressive and we have decided to continue to print until the conclusion of the first habitable module.”

For more information on the exciting goings-on at WASP and to find out how to get involved with the 3D printing workshops, take a look at the WASP Project website.

 

 

Posted in 3D Printing Application

 

 

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