Italian collective unveils world's largest 3-D printer

The Big Delta printer can build affordable mud huts for emergency housing and people below global poverty levels.
By Marilyn Malara   |   Sept. 26, 2015 at 2:50 PM
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RIETI, Italy, Sept. 26 (UPI) -- The world's largest 3-D printer is capable of building clay dwellings aimed to be used to supplement a growing global housing crisis.

Italian collective WASP -- or World's Advanced Saving Project -- presented their 40 foot high, lightweight printer named Big Delta last week during a three-day festival celebrating the feat. Unlike other large scale 3-D printers focused on building structures, this device is capable of creating an entire hut from the bottom up during one printing session. Its principal building material is mud.

The distinct shapes of the printed housing mimics those of mud nests built by a certain species of wasp. The designs are also inspired by traditional hut dwellings and mud structures like those built in Morocco.

According to a press release, WASP aims to employ Big Delta to build affordable housing for an estimated 4 billion people who will be living on less than $3,000 annually by 2030. The United Nations calculates the need of an average 100,000 new homes per day over the next 15 years. WASP hopes to be part of the solution, but also to inspire a new method of living.

"The company proposes a vision that goes well beyond that of low cost housing," the release read. "We are talking about the MakerEconomy, a new model where everything can be self manufactured through shared solutions."

WASP was created in 2012 by Massimo Moretti, who previously founded CSP (Centro Sviluppo Progetti) after working ten years in the electronic industry. WASP focuses on developing 3-D printing technology which can later be part of an "Open-Souce" society where manufacturing goods is placed into the consumer's hands. It develops printers capable of using materials such as bio-plastic, clay, silicone and even wood to print various objects.

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