The first 3D printed house with earth

WASP (World’s Advanced Saving Project) 3D printed a 100 square metre house made from mud and and natural waste materials from the surrounding area.

Last year on the Maker Faire Rome, WASP presented their 3D printer that is capable of printing with mud. Their efforts have now created what they say is the first 3D printed house made with earth, which is aptly called Gaia.

In addition to mud, the house was made with natural waste materials from the rice production chain. It was printed in a few weeks on site, and has an almost zero environmental impact. Thanks to its insulated construction, the house does not need heating or an air conditioning system, keeping a mild temperature inside during both winter and summer.

The 3D printed house was build in collaboration with RiceHouse, which supplied the vegetable fibres. WASP developed a compound of 25 per cent of silt taken from the site (30 per cent clay, 40 per cent silt and 30 sand), 40 per cent straw chopped rice, 25 per cent rice husk and 10 per cent hydraulic lime. The mixture has been mixed using a wet pan mill.

The house is South West orientated, taking advantage of the passive contribution of the sun. A large window is positioned to capture as much natural light as possible. The roof is made from wood and a lime/chaff insulation. This material is light, but offers good thermal insulation. The monolithic, 3D printed wall is finished with a shaving clay-lamina, smoothed and oiled with linseed oils.

It took 10 days to realise the 3D printed casting, for a total of 30 square metres of wall with a thickness of 40 cm. The total cost of the materials in the wall structure are only €900.

During the printing process of Gaia, fata was collected, which will be used to conceive new economic scenarios in which one hectare of cultivated paddy field can become 100 square metres of built area.

The house was printed as a case study for “Viaggio a Shamballa” event and the “A call to save the world” conference.

Photos: WASP