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17 Oct, 2014 14:10

3D-printed huts to revolutionize home building in poor countries

3D-printed huts to revolutionize home building in poor countries

An Italian company believes they have come up with an idea that could improve the lives of hundreds of millions. They have developed an easily transportable printer that can build houses out of natural materials, such as mud or clay.

The technology is relatively simple, and was designed by the Italian based company, WASP (World’s Advanced Saving Project), and one of its main attributes is it can be assembled in two hours.

The printer has three arms with a six-meter reach in height. So it can build houses to a much greater height than is usually the case with a mud hut. Another difference is the method of construction, which makes the dwelling much stronger. Instead of using large square blocks, small triangles are used, allowing the house to bear a much greater load.

Another advantage is these shapes dry much faster, making the house inhabitable quicker, while no materials need to be imported: everything required to build a mud house can be found in the build’s vicinity.

The Italian company exhibited at a science fair in Rome earlier in the month. Time and space constraints meant they were unable to create a three meter house there. But they put their technology to the test, creating a palm sized model, according to Make Magazine.

WASP Plans to 3D Print Homes in Developing Nations Using 6 Meter Tall 3D Printer: http://t.co/6mWPLaBLFApic.twitter.com/Urf9ymqcoQ

— 3D Printing News (@3DPrintGirl) October 1, 2014

The company name, WASP, was not chosen by accident. The Italian based project modeled the design of the houses on how the potter wasp builds its nest, according to the website IFL Science. The insect uses mud and hair, which it bends into shape to construct a sturdy home.

WASP are the second largest 3D printing organization in Italy and are using the money they earn from the commercial sale of their printers to fund this project. They hope to construct their first full size house in early 2015.