Written By Dario Borghino Via Gizmag.com
WASP (World's Advanced Saving Project) is set to unveil Big Delta, reportedly the world's largest delta 3D printer, later this week. This 12-meter (40 ft) tall behemoth was brought to life with the purpose of building nearly zero-cost housing through the use of local materials and as little energy as possible, offering quick and inexpensive relief to disaster areas and addressing the future housing needs of a rapidly growing world population.
Building houses quickly and on a very tight budget through additive manufacturing, be iton Earth on another planet entirely, is a very interesting proposition for more than one good reason. In space, this would afford us huge amounts of design flexibility, giving way to unusual but highly functional structures that simply couldn't be assembled any other way.
Back on our own planet, 3D-printed houses may be about to become more and more commonplace as the United Nations predicts there will be a need for almost a hundred thousand new homes daily, worldwide, for the next 15 years.
Cheap and quick to build housing units could also be a good fit for, among other things, bringing quick relief to areas hit by natural disasters like earthquakes, tornadoes and floods. With the cost, energy and material restraints being as severe as they are in an emergency situation, it's well worth looking for solutions from unusual sources of inspiration.
Arguably, none does the job better than the potter wasp, which builds its nest by methodically depositing countless layers of ubiquitous mud on top of each other, forming a shape that resembles a clay pot. As such, this industrious insect may well be the world's smallest (and most environmentally-friendly) 3D printer.