3D printing company WASP has succeeded in printing a mud hut for around 1000 USD. The technology could help quickly build homes for people in developing nations.
In this initial demonstration the building material was composed of 25 percent soil taken from the build site in Italy, 40 percent straw, 25 percent rice husk and 10 percent lime. That particular mixture was used for walls, while the roof was made out of timber and the foundations are concrete – 3D printed with assistance from a firm called Rice House.
The product is finished in about 10 days, complete with a window, glazed door, and 20 square meter interior. Although there was no furniture, bathroom or bedroom. WASP claims that the hut is well insulated for the changing seasons against both heat and cold. All the materials cost around 900 euro (1000 USD) however its important to note that labor would indeed cost much more – as you can see in the video, all the work is not entirely automated.
WASP would like to use their 3D printer to help more quickly build entire villages in developing nations. In fact a while ago they announced plans to create what they call an eco-village using the same technique. Depending on the location of interest they could use a mix of indigenous and imported materials for the entire operation. Like any other 3D printer the giant arm essentially extrudes the mixture out in layers, building up the house in much less time than is ever possible by hand.
The device could especially be useful in disaster response such as when coastal neighborhoods lose their home to a tsunami or hurricane. Even in refugee situations where no immediate housing can be found these 3D printers could be deployed en masse to erect a village of temporary huts that would shelter the population.