Clay – not the most advanced building material, or so you might think. The World's Advanced Saving Project, or WASP, has just unveiled a giant 3D printer that – rather like a real wasp – can build a house out of the stuff.
The 3D printer, called BigDelta, works much like any other you may have seen – layering up a material into a pre-determined structure. The difference is that it stands 12 meters (40 feet) tall and claims to be the world’s biggest.
It was unveiled this weekend at the three-day “Reality of Dream” rally in Italy, where BigDelta was made. In a statement, WASP proposes that its technology could help meet the rising demand for housing, citing a UN calculation that over the next 15 years there will be an average daily demand for 100,000 new housing units.
It is thought the technology would be of most use in disaster or war zones, where the speed of production could help those who have become displaced. The use of natural materials could also benefit the environment by reducing cement – a major contributor to carbon dioxide emissions.
You can watch the journey of BigDelta from desktop prototype to field-dwelling giant here, and you can get a good view of it in action (and test your understanding of rapid Italian) in the video below.