Here at 3D Rapid Print, one of the fastest growing 3D Printing companies in the Thames Valley, we like to keep abreast of the latest innovations in 3D printing.

Circa March 2019, The Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia (IAAC) and specialist 3D printing manufacturer World’s Advanced Saving Project (WASP) of Massa Lombarda, Italy unveiled a prototype load-bearing earthen wall with an embedded staircase. (IAAC describes itself as “a centre for research, education, production and outreach, with the mission of envisioning the future habitat of our society and building it in the present.) IAAC designed and engineered the wall as part of its Open Thesis Fabrication research program (OFT), which experiments with how 3D printed can be used with the construction industry. WASP’s modular Crane printer printed it, marking the first proper step in WASP’s ongoing mission to realise loadbearing earthen structures.

The wall measured 40cm thick, took 40 hours to build, and used 2 cubic metres of a special mix of clay and rice fibres from Italian start-up RiceHouse of Adorno Micca. (RiceHouse describes itself as “a new company that bases its work on enhancement of waste from rice cultivation and it is configured as a vehicle of innovation, with a high degree of sustainability with the chiefly targets the marketing of new materials: straw, husk, thermo plastering coat, lightened screeds and ricechaff-lime finishes.”) The wall also has built in timber elements to support stairs or floor structures.

The wall continues the experiments of IAAC’s March 2018 Digital Adobe Wall and WASP’s Gaia, which was also printed via the WASP Crane. (One of OFT’s more recent projects is 3D printing earthen shelters in the Kakuma refugee camp of northwest Kenya.) Gaia refers to a 30-square-metre (323-square-foot) earthen house WASP 3D printed circa October 2018, using an experimental mix of clay, silt, sand, straw-chopped rice, rice husk and hydraulic lime. (RiceHouse supplied the rice and rice husks.) It cost circa €900 and took 10 days to build, and WASP claims it will biodegrade if its structure is not properly maintained.

3D printing is an amazing tool. It can grow your small business or start a mini revolution in an industry. Explore what it can do for you when you contact us today.

Disclaimer: Featured image of “Greatwall large” in the public domain in its country of origin and other countries and areas where the copyright term is the author’s life plus 80 years or less. It is also in the public domain in the United States because it was published (or registered with the U.S. Copyright Office) before January 1, 1924.