Oct 11, 2016 | By Benedict

Italian 3D printing company WASP has introduced the Maker Economy Starter Kit, a shipping container of 3D printing equipment for constructing houses. The kit includes six 3D printing systems, including the Big Delta and DeltaWASP 3MT 3D printers, as well as tools and raw materials.

3D printing is a broad and varied form of technology, but the goings-on at WASP (World’s Advanced Saving Project) have always seemed a million miles away from what most additive-focused companies get up to. For example, you’re more likely to see the WASP team shoveling piles of mud and grass than fiddling with microchips in a lab, yet the company remains at the forefront of a particular substrate of the additive manufacturing world: sustainable, affordable, large-scale 3D printing.

WASP’s latest project is an attempt to show that people can create their own houses—walls, furniture, the lot—in a sustainable manner, one which benefits the owner of the house rather than some billionaire property developer. The project comes in the form of a shipping container packed with 3D printing equipment, enough for communities to start printing their own 3D printed structures, as WASP staff have been doing themselves at the Shamballa Technological Village. Included in the giant kit are six 3D printing systems, including the Big Delta 3D printer (one of the biggest operational 3D printers in the world) and the DeltaWASP 3MT, a ceramic 3D printer capable of printing objects up to one meter tall.

WASP's massive Big Delta 3D printer

“Our goal is to create self-sufficient micro-communities that are born and grow on the basis of collective knowledge, and that are accessible to all,” WASP explained in a press release. “3D printing is the production process that shows that a home doesn’t need to create debt, and can actually provide freedom. A house that is active, able to generate economy, which does not consume energy but produces it. A living module with construction costs close to zero, and which is able to respond to basic needs: housing, food, energy, health, work, and culture.”

According to WASP, the Maker Economy Starter Kit has been designed so that communities can fabricate structures using local materials, either natural or recycled. However, the 3D printing equipment contained in the kit can also be used with regular materials. In order to help those attempting to build with non-specialist materials, WASP will even provide a series of free online tutorials detailing how the equipment and materials can be used most efficiently. The company will also provide plans for a specific house design, but all content is open source, allowing engineers, designers, and architects to take charge of their own projects.

The DeltaWASP 3MT 3D printer

WASP's clay extrusion kit

The TopWASP DLP 3D printer

In addition to the 3D printers themselves, the Maker Economy Starter Kit will contain cutting tools, material preparation tools, power supply systems, material recycling systems, and other items needed to build sustainable structures. According to WASP, the completeness of the kit will help communities adopt the “Maker Economy,” an economical model which prescribes using only the materials needed, producing little to no waste and taking full advantage of any recycling opportunities. This model is already being tested at the company’s Shamballa site, and could be adopted worldwide to provide solutions to housing problems

“Estimates suggest that, by 2030, there will be a rapid surge in demand for affordable housing from the 4 billion people worldwide with an annual income under $3,000,” WASP explains. “Most of these people can not spend more than 10% of their annual revenue on accommodation. To meet this demand, the United Nations estimates that, over the next 15 years, there will be a daily requirement of 100,000 housing units. Additionally, the increased population will have to compete for food in areas where bad weather takes its toll on crops or which are affected by major socio-economic hardships.”

3D printing has, for some time, been highlighted as a potential means of sustainable construction, and WASP has just made it easier than ever for communities (or businesses, universities etc.) to lay the foundations for a new 3D printed village. Who knows…maybe some day you’ll end up living in a 3D printed house built with the WASP Maker Economy Starter Kit.

WASP Maker Economy Starter Kit contents:

  • BigDeltaWASP 12m - huge 3D printer used to build houses
  • DeltaWASP 3MT - plastic/ceramic 3D printer with cutting and milling system
  • DeltaWASP 40 70 - high-speed FDM 3D printer
  • DeltaWASP 20 40 - smaller FDM 3D printer
  • Clay Extruder - kit than can transform other printers into ceramic-printing ones
  • TopWASP DLP - highly accurate DLP 3D printer for small resin-based objects
  • Tool kit and raw materials - power generator, compressor, welder, grinder, keys and tools, mini lathe, screws, bolts 
  • SD card - contains software, information, guides



Posted in 3D Printer



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Martin wrote at 10/12/2016 4:23:37 PM:

How about applying this to Haiti? Cant rely on online tutorials there, but still.

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