Tag Archives: 3D-Printed House

This 40-foot-tall delta 3D printer can build homes out clay

Big Delta can build low-cost, 3D-printed homes in areas struck by natural disasters. 

It’s no question, 3D printers are getting bigger. While more and more companies are seeking massive build volumes, they will all pale in comparison to the latest design from WASP (World’s Advanced Saving Project). And we’re not talking about a large desktop machine, either. Standing at 40-feet tall, the Big Delta 3D Printer is capable of constructing entire houses — something that will be extremely useful in areas struck by natural disasters and throughout Third World countries.


Evident by advancements in recent months, 3D-printed buildings are bound to become ubiquitous over the next few years. And not only will the gargantuan delta-style printer be able to extrude habitable objects, it will be able to do so at very little cost by using local materials like clay.

Given its sheer magnitude, Big Delta is supported by a sturdy, 20-foot-wide metal frame. Although the printer will prove to be especially valuable in times of crisis, WASP says there’s already a growing interest in using it in places with a rapidly growing population. Considering that the United Nations estimates there will be a need for almost a hundred thousand new homes throughout the world each day for the next 15 years, the ability to quickly and inexpensively create homes will be paramount.


“Building Big Delta is much more than a dream come true,” its creators explain. “Estimates foresee a rapid growth of adequate housing requirements for over four billion people living with yearly income below $3,000.”

If you recall last year, the company unveiled a 20-foot-tall printer that could spew out filaments including mud and other natural fibers. Now, the team has taken their efforts one step further with the record-setting machine Big Delta. The printer uses a rotating nozzle that also doubles as a mixer, which enables it to keep the materials homogeneous for extrusion. These materials can then be treated and structurally reinforced with small amounts of chemical additives. What’s more, it reportedly only requires less than 100 watts of power to operate.


“[We] propose a vision that goes well beyond that of low-cost housing. We are talking about the Maker economy, a new model where everything can be self manufactured through shared solutions, These leverage on 3D printing and are tied to meeting life’s primary necessities: work, health and housing,” the team adds.

While few details about BigDelta have been made available, WASP will demonstrate the 40-foot-tall, 20-foot-wide beast of a printer at Maker Faire Rome. Interested? You can follow along on their website here.

These robots can 3D print an entire structure

A team of Makers from the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia (IAAC) has developed a set of experimental robots capable of building clay structures in their attempt to overcome existing limitations of 3D printing in large-scale. The creation — appropriately named Minibuilders — is a new breed of pint-sized mechanisms that could very well 3D print a house or another structure of serious magnitude.


As the group notes, “There has always been a close relationship between architecture and technology. Yet, in recent times, architecture has stagnated and the construction industry has been slow to adopt technologies that are already well established in other fields. Robotics and additive manufacturing offer great potential towards innovation within the construction industry.”


The objective of the project was to create a family of small-scale, mobile construction bots proficient in constructing objects far larger than the robots themselves. Moreover, each of the robots were specifically design to perform a diverse task, linked to the various phases of construction, all coming together as a family towards the implementation of a single structural outcome. As a result, the team decided to use a number of much smaller robots working in unison, rather than a single, much larger machine.


The “family” is comprised of various bots: Foundation Robots, Grip Robots and Vacuum Robots. The Foundation Robot is responsible for laying down the first 20 layers of material used to create a foundation footprint. Powered by an [Atmel based] Arduino board, the robot is able to steer along a predefined path with the help of mounted sensors that recognize curves along the ground. These small robots are connected with pipes to the supplier robot, that feeds the printing material.


To create the main shell of the final structure, the Grip Robot attaches to the recently-constructed foundation footprint. The robot’s four rollers clamp to the upper edge of the structure, therefore enabling it to move along the previously printed material and extrude more layers. Besides a rotational actuator, each roller is connected to a steering actuator that allows the robot to position precisely over the structure. Controlled by custom software, the robot follows a predefined path, all while still capable of adjusting its path to correct errors within the printing process.

To reinforce the shell printed by the first two robots, the third member of the family, the Vacuum Robot, affixes to the surface by using a vacuum generator and a suction cup. The vacuum concealed inside holds the robot on the surface, while allowing it to still move around freely. The robot moves and steers itself with two tracks. According to its creators, these bots can travel over surfaces of any inclination.


A fully 3D-printed estate is coming to New York

While we have covered some pretty awesome 3D-printed homes here on Bits & Pieces, this one certainly takes the cake. Adam Kushner and his team are planning to 3D print an entire 2,400-square-foot house that, of course, comes with a 3D-printed swimming pool.


The New York-based contractor has made a name for himself in the construction industry over the last 25 years, and when he met Italian 3D printer extraordinaire Enrico Dini, ideas started brewing. With help from James Wolff, the trio developed a plan to bring Dini’s famed D-Shape printer to American soil.

According to 3DPrint.com, Dini’s printer has the ability to combine sand or other materials with a magnesium-based binder to create stone-like objects. This allows for the assembly of entire buildings and structures. The group has scheduled the shipment of Dini’s printer to the U.S. in early 2015.

Motherboard reports that the Maker kicked of the project by also tasking Kushner Studios employee Virgina Camilo with researching the current state of 3D printing in the construction sector, along with University of Southern California Professor Behrokh Khoshnevis, industrial 3D printer manufacturer Voxeljet, and DUS Architects — who if you recall was the Dutch firm behind the 3D-printed Canal House.

“About a year and a half ago, I started to become immersed in 3D printing,” Kushner told 3DPrint.com. “I said, ‘OK, who’s doing this on the construction level?’  That is where I see the future. I don’t care about the toys or the games or the little things people are doing on their desktops. What I really saw, was the bigger potential for 3D printers in the construction industry. That is a trillion dollar business, and it changes the paradigm of how we build.”


Once the project begins, the construction of this estate will not be as simple as clicking a few buttons and watching the walls take shape. This is a monumental task. In fact, the Maker believes that, “It could be ego driven, it could be legacy driven, but if I am going to leave the world anything, I’m hoping that perhaps this might be my little niche.”

The team has already set up the construction site’s power and are now launching the pool and carport foundations and formwork where the 3D-printed forms will sit, a process in which the team believes will run through November. Kushner’s team hopes use the winter break to focus on modeling while they await the arrival of the 3D printers early next year. The team will begin by building the pool in this spring followed by a pool house sometime next summer.

“A pool is in complete compression,” the Maker explained. “Water on the inside, soil on the outside. One of the most successful uses of the D-Shape technology has been in the creation of artificial reefs.”

While pool house will certainly come with some other challenges, including a roof that will be 3D-printed and additional tensile forces on the structure, the most complicated task will be the four-bedroom home. With hopes of commencing construction of the house in just over a year, Kushner is still brainstorming ideas as to how to add support to some of his plans, and is toying with a process to install rebar as the printer forms the property’s foundation.


“Up until now, with previous ’3D-printed house’ projects, we have only seen very small houses actually 3D-printed, or in some cases, small sections which have been assembled together. Kushner plans on blowing away all of these projects by completely 3D printing a full-size home,” 3DPrint.com explains.

This estate is viewed by the team as a two-year project and should cost significantly less than a traditionally built home, as there are little to no labor costs. Traditional labor may account for as much as 45% of a home’s construction cost.

“This is serious for me. I don’t play games any more. Time is shorter, and this is something that I’d like to do with my days. If successful Kushner, Wolff, Dini, D-Shape, and team will go down in history as the first to use 3D printing on a massive scale within the construction industry.  It may very well change the paradigm within the construction industry.

You can view Kushner’s detailed plans for this futuristic estate here.



“I hope that when this is completed, in some small way, it will show that there can be a fundamental paradigm shift in the way we view architects, contractors and what it means to build,” Kushner told Motherboard.

As we’ve previously discussed on Bits & Pieces, the DIY Maker Movement continues to employ Atmel powered 3D printers like MakerBot and RepRap for some time now. However, 3D printing recently entered a new and exciting stage in a number of spaces, ranging from the architectural arena to the science lab. And, with all great aspirations comes great microcontrollers to enable them.