Two years ago, the World’s Advanced Saving Project, aka WASP, announced that it would be starting work on what seemed like an extremely far-fetched, if not impossible, project – 3D printing an entire village. To be constructed in Massa Lombarda, Italy, the village of Shamballa was to be an ecological, technological showcase that demonstrated a truly circular economy. The idea was for the residents of the village to be completely self-sufficient, growing and making what they needed without reliance on the outside world. The houses would be 3D printed, and a laboratory equipped with 3D printers would allow residents to print what they needed – furniture, biomedical tools, etc.
The driving force behind the construction of the village is the WASP BigDelta 3D printer, a massive 3D printer designed for the construction of houses. BigDelta was designed with the goal of 3D printing safe, sustainable housing in remote and developing areas, and the village of Shamballa is intended to be a model for eventual construction in those areas – places that don’t have easy access to shopping, for example. The concept is designed to alleviate poverty by allowing people to create what they need, including food and shelter, without generating any waste – everything would be composted and recycled.
The BigDelta is building Shamballa using clay and straw readily available in the soil surrounding it. That’s another key to the project – houses can be 3D printed using whatever materials are available in the local landscape, eliminating the need to bring in outside materials.
Within a few months of the start of the project, construction was going well, with significant progress having been made on the first house in the village. A 3D printed village may seem like an outlandish idea, but WASP and Massa Lombarda are very serious about the project, and are actually making it happen, one house at a time.
Now, WASP has announced that the WASP Shamballa Technology Park has changed location. It is now located in an industrial 1,000-square-meter warehouse that has become the first Italian service center for large-scale 3D printing.
“Outside the warehouse, the experiments in architectural 3d-printing continue and make progress on the WASP 12-meter BigDelta which dominates the scene,” states WASP.
While WASP produces 3D printers of all sizes, that can print with all sorts of materials, the company is best known for its large-scale 3D printers, which can print everything from furniture to theatrical scenery. The BigDelta may be its crowning achievement, however, as it churns out livable houses made from the landscape around them. No word on when the Shamballa project is expected to be complete, but as WASP says, progress is being made and the project is coming along. It likely won’t be long before there’s an actual livable, sustainable, 3D printed space.
The new WASP warehouse is also a showroom featuring the company’s full range of 3D printers. Next up for WASP, the company will be at the manufacturing fair MECSPE, which is taking place in Parma from March 22nd to 24th.
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