WASP and IAAC create 3D printed wall with embedded staircase

Published on April 10, 2019 by Carlota V.
3D printed wall

The concrete 3D printer manufacturer WASP presented its new prototype: a 3D printed wall that integrates the steps of a staircase. In collaboration with the Institute of Advanced Architecture of Catalonia (IAAC), the Italian company used its modular 3D printer Crane, to build its 40 cm thick wall in which it can anchor wooden structures to form stairs. A prototype that has been made from a mixture of clay and rice fibres, thus fitting into WASP’s approach of creating more sustainable buildings.

We can remember the Italian village of Shambalha, an initiative launched by WASP to print most of its houses and buildings in 3D using local and natural materials. The Italian manufacturer recently introduced us to Gaia, a small house printed in 3D from rice waste. It has also partnered with IAAC, an institute that wants to develop additive manufacturing in the architectural sector. The partnership aims to promote the development of new construction opportunities: enhancing the possibilities of 3D printing directly on site.

3D printed wall

Credit: WAAP & IAAC

IAAC and WASP state that the 3D printing of the wall took 40 hours. The total amount of material used was 2 cubic meters for a final thickness of 40 cm. Multiple surfaces were modelled internally to give the prototype sufficient strength while maintaining an attractive aesthetic. The raw material, a mixture of clay and rice was supplied by RiceHouse. Different wooden elements should fit naturally into this concrete wall: the two partners explain that this is a first important step towards the construction of load-bearing earth structures.

With this collaboration, WASP and IAAC are underpinning a strategic program of shared projects, research and ongoing activities to establish an affordable and sustainable on-site 3D printing solution. Their ultimate objective is to consolidate a network of partners in all sectors, from architectural design to university research, humanitarian associations and international organisations. You can find more information on this 3D printed wall on the WASP website, HERE.

3D printed wall

Credits: WASP & IAAC

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