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World's Largest 3D Printer Can Build Clay Homes

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Clay or mud houses have been around for ages even before industrialization took over. What happens then when state-of-the-art technology is employed to build clay houses using durable mud? The result is jaw-dropping.

The World's Advanced Saving Project (WASP) announced the first giant 3D printer that can build durable structures like clay houses using mud. The 40-foot tall, Italian-made 3D printing machine was named BigDelta, which will make its debut at the three-day Reality of Dream rally later this September. WASP is based in Ravenna, Italy, and is a world leader in 3D printing.

During the demonstration, BigDelta will use on-site materials like mud, dirt, water and straw to create a knot-like effect as it builds the structure from the ground up. The use of cement carries many environmental consequences, not to mention expenses. Clay can produce low-maintenance structures that can last for years. Every five years, the future owners of these clay houses can add a new layer to make the structures even stronger.

BigDelta functions likes the average 3D printer on a larger scale. The frame supports the nozzle that "prints out" the structure of the house. Layer upon layer, it produces the structure. The 40-foot frame might look imposing, but the WASP team said it is made of lightweight material. They added that it is easy to assemble and transport. The initial machine holds potential for building not just clay houses on the planet but also future dwellings in space.

"By 2030, international estimates foresee a rapid growth of adequate housing requirements for over 4 billion people living with yearly income below $3,000," said WASP. BigDelta hopes to play a part in meeting these demands.

Clay or mud houses were popular in the 20th century. The widespread use of cement, steel and stronger building materials almost wiped out these old, sturdy houses. Despite their unpopularity in the modern age, clay or mud houses are pretty strong and can withstand the test of time. It is also very cheap to make.

WASP is hoping to fuse this old-world charm with new technology to solve the looming housing problem in the next 15 years.

Find out more about how the giant 3D printer from WASP works in the video below:

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