‘Crane Style’ Printing
Denise Chevin, of BIM Plus reports that Italian printing specialist WASP has taken another step forward in 3D printing by developing the technology to form a structure made out of clay and food waste, using a new “crane-style” printer.
‘Crane’ style 3D printer can build homes from soil and food waste
In the new project, known as GAIA, insulation and ventilation have been embedded into the complex architectural cladding. The new structure has been built at WAPS’s HQ, at Massa Lombarda, Ravenna, Italy, and will be completed in early October.
It will be the first structure printed using the new printer, which has been in development by the company for two years.
“In collaboration with Rice House, we have added husks and rice straw to the inner spaces of the 3D printed built wall. The masonry is completely printed in 3D. The design of the wall, with grooves and insulation, gives Gaia very high energy performance.”
Infinity 3D Printer
WASP’s Infinity 3D printer is a modular collaborative 3D printing system. It reinterprets the classic building cranes from a digital manufacturing point of view. It is composed of a main printer unit that can be assembled in different configurations depending on the printing area and therefore on the dimensions of the architectural structure to be calculated in 3D.
The print area of the single module is 6.60m in diameter for a height of 3m.
This equipment is an evolution of the Big Delta 12M and allows the mechanical dimensions of the printer to be reduced while maintaining a large print area.
Created with the same modular mechanical components used to make up the Big Delta 12M aluminium structure, it is a fast and efficient tool to be dismantled and reassembled for easy transport, claims the company.
The single module can work self-sufficiently by printing fluids of different kinds: cement, bio cement, natural dough. “Once you have a single module, you can expand it by adding traverses and printer arms, thus generating an infinite digital manufacturing system,” says WASP.
Huge Printing Areas
It is not necessary to “cover” the entire area involved in the construction with the printing area of the WASP cranes because they can be reconfigured depending on the growth and shape of the building. More WASP cranes, when working together, have a potentially huge printing area and can be set by the on-site operators following the evolution of the architectural project.
WASP technology has been used recently to produce a pioneering lightweight architectural pavilion that fuses advancements in 3D printing with bio-inspired computational design.
In this project in Milan, the fabrication process of the building components was made possible by five printers supplied by 3D printer manufacturer WASP. The company’s Spitfire extruder was also introduced for the first time to shape stiff components.
Applied Doctoral Research
The prototype is the result of the doctoral research of Roberto Naboni, architect and assistant professor at the University of Southern Denmark (SDU), who designed and developed the pavilion at Politecnico di Milano, together with a team of specialists in experimental design and construction.
Project Looks at Material Scarcity
The project looks into 3D printing for answers to the emerging problem of scarcity in material resources. The design is based on a computational process that finds inspiration in nature, specifically in the materialisation logics of the trabeculae, the internal cells that form the bone microstructure.
Future for Off-Site?
It may not be long before changing material science and technology combines to bring 3D printing o composites into the Off-Site sector. This will enable new homes to be ‘Smart’ in numerous ways, including full incorporation of energy saving and TIoT (the internet of things) to deliver major components. This is something that ‘Off-Site’. DfMA (Design for Manufacture & Assembly) will need to seriously consider as the industry moves forward.
Greater collaborative ‘partnering’ between architects, builders and manufacturers is needed to accomplish this The greater speed, accuracy and quality that can result from manufacturing components in a dry, controlled factory environment, together with the ability tom incorporate (yet to be invented) ‘Smart Ware’ gives home builders perhaps the only way of achieving this, together with improved on-site build quality AND controlling costs.
While resistance to the change to DfMA has been the norm, the wish of most UK Builders to deliver excellent customer service and top notch homes is now driving an increasing number to choose Off-Site for their developments. Also, as ‘OffSite Hub” note, architects and designers are moving toward DfMA, something w have been encouraging for over 20 years. The emergence of LA Developers will only speed up this process.
To assist them in doing so our “Easy Timber Frame “ now offers standard size modular timber frame elements for them to use as a design base, cutting down on technical design and engineering to produce win-win results.