3D-printed house promotes self-sufficiency in a small space
Italian 3D printing company WASP (World's Advanced Saving Project) has revealed plans for an experimental 3D-printed house named Itaca. Once completed, the prototype dwelling will run fully off-the-grid to aid research on self sufficiency and sustainability in a compact area.
One of the project's main goals is to prove the theory that an area up to 33 m (108 ft) in diameter – which includes the house and a small circular plot that surrounds it – is sufficient to fully support two adults and two children.
With this in mind, the residence will run off-the-grid, with solar panels providing all required power and rainwater collection systems supplying both drinking water and irrigation needs. There will be an area for growing food using traditional methods, as well as hydroponic systems. We've no details on the interior layout at this early stage, though we do know that generous glazing, including a skylight, will be used to maximize daylight inside.
Like the BioHome project, Itaca won’t be 3D printed using concrete. The home will be constructed using WASP's own 3D printer and the firm says that it will make use of natural local materials. Indeed, WASP has previously constructed 3D-printed buildings from a soil-based mixture. The process is a lot like most concrete-based 3D printing projects we cover and involves the printer extruding a combination of soil, lime, and rice husks out of a nozzle in layers to build up the structure of the home. Human builders then come in and finish it off with a roof and windows.
WASP says it drew inspiration from space habitat research during the design process, to try and ensure the Itaca maximizes all possible resources.
"Itaca, 'Space Economy on Earth', is an ecosystem that applies the technologies necessary to live in space to our planet to improve the quality of life in areas with scarce water, food, and industrial fabric," explained WASP. "The project is designed to make independent a nucleus of four people, two adults and two children, putting them in a condition to live 'off-grid,' without electricity, water, gas connections, and a sewer system, making the most of every possible resource."
Itaca will be located on a rural plot near Bologna, Italy, which WASP recently purchased specifically for the project. We've no word yet on when it's expected to be completed, though the firm indicated that more details will be available in the coming weeks and months as the project progresses.