I'm continually amazed at the things that 3D printing technology can do. Today's discovery? A 3D printer that builds chairs, walls and even bridges out of sand and dirt.
Four architecture students working in Spain have created the Stone Spray Project, a robotic 3D printer that can turn dirt and sand into stable structures in record time. Anna Kulik, Inder Prakash, Singh Shergill, and Petr Novikov met at the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia where they developed Stone Spray with the help of robotic and mechanical engineers.
The key to their design is a special binding agent, that combines with sand or dirt to create whatever architectural structures the designer can dream up.
"The shape of the resulting object is created in 3-D CAD software and then transferred to the robot, defining its movements," Novikov told Fast Company. "So the designer has the full control of the shape."
For the time being, Stone Spray's prototypes are still miniature versions of the final 3D printer the designers envision. The current model is just 20 inches long, but Novikok says they're "planning on increasing the sizes of the objects to the architectural scale."
Once completed, the Stone Spray Project could easily revolutionize the sustainable design of both homes and city planning projects. This 3D printer could cut down drastically on prices, and significantly reduce the negative environmental effects associated with today's construction process.
"Stone Spray Robot requires a very little amount of energy to operate," reads the project website. "It can be powered by solar energy only. The solidifier material is as well eco-friendly, it is composed out of LEED Certified components."
Check out this video from the Stone Spray Project:
via Fast Company