With the new extruder WASP can truly realize the house dream
Animals teach us that every wasted energy must be recover getting food, getting what they need. The innovation of our research toward 12 meters tall WASP BigDelta, toward the printer for clay houses, is inspired to this concept. In the end the solution we were loking for was in our name, in nature, in potter wasp.
Compared with the one we presented at Maker Faire in Rome on 2014, the distinctive and decisive element that characterizes the evolution of the one we have now is the new extruder. Movements control is crucial in 3D print, but it was very difficult with the old peristaltic pump-extruder. That’s why we completely redesigned adoting a cochlea concept. Now we have an extruder wich can even manage retraction, so it can stop working and pull extruded material back.
In a few words, we moved from a continuous extrusion to a precise flow control,and to the chance of stopping the work and resume it with a micrometric precision. The new extruder can be assembled and disassembled very quickly, it cleans by itself, it needs a very low energy amount and it has a costant control at all the speed levels. Moreover, thanks to rotating nozzle, the material isn’t only extruded but also mixed in his way out. In this was layers are more cohesive and tenacious.
If we look back and think to the way we walked through, the biggest obstacle for the twelve meters tall printer was the extruder. We had to understand not only how to extrude, but also how to refill materials and keep the system operative. It has been a continuous research and we tried many solutions. In the end we went back to the potter wasp, which takes material by her self when she finishes it. With the same system, our printer reduces at minum the amount of energy that it needs. Now we can easily print and do other things instead of refilling material. The save of energy is evident: to push the clay in the tubes it takes several kilowatt, to let clay fall in a controlled way it takes just a few tens of watt.
All these devices are contained in our extruder and characterize the printer. These technical solutions are ready to be repeated in a bigger scale. Now we can say that we created a printer which produces big objects without any waste of energy, and we think this can be a real revolution, not just for the constuction field. We can print not only houses but also animal refuges, pensile gardens. The approach has completely changed, and the main foucs is energy.
What others advantages will grow out of the rotating extruder? We still don’t know. We needed this kind of system to mix material and keep clean the nozzle. From that need we started to arrive at the final result. The force of this technology compared to the ones we tried is that is a continuous supply system, it feeds itself while the printer is working.
Who saw in these years the various technological passages of the machine can understand the greatness of this revolution. Even the only extruder could have important results in the building field. It’s a sort of controlled operation cement mixer. More applications are, as usual, to be discovered yet. In our world it often happens the passage from one kind of technology to another. There is no need to be dogmatic, humilty is very usefull to understand what is the right solution, we must be ready to change our path everyday, or even throw away what we’ve done.
Many people ask us when we’re going to built the first house. Now we have all the conditions and premises to the crucial jump. We think we have played our role, we projected (and in a few time we will build) a printer to erect houses. There are the right conditions. Then, other factors will enter the game, we need other subjects: institutions, municipalities, territories. Sardinia Research (Sardegna Ricerche, is a local institution) and Iglesias municipality are interested in the project. For sure it will be a team work. Others équipes will print houses, we will keep our research to emprove the system. This is our extraordinary, charming and challenging “conviction”.
In the picture BigDelta WASP is printing an object designed by ArtificioDigitale at 3D Print Hub in Milan.