You may recall a promising 3D printing project from a few weeks ago that hopes to build houses in less than 24 hours. It’s called Contour Crafting and it would use a giant 3D printer that would put down all the layers of a house from the foundation to the roof with just a simple 3D printer set up. Contour Crafting may have a bit of competition now from the equally amazing Stone Spray.
Stone Spray is a 3D printing system that combines sand and soil to build architectural designs. The project is headed by a group of students at the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia. While you could build a killer sandcastle with the technology, it’s far more ambitious than that. They hope to one day construct buildings and bridges using the material.
Their ambitions may just be realized, and soon, thanks to the materials they use. It only uses sand and soil, but the resulting combination is as strong as concrete. It also has one trump card that other 3D printing systems have yet to implement. It can print in multiple directions so complex designs are entirely possible.
Like all ambitious 3D printing projects, this is still in the small object stage. They can’t start implementing the technology on a large scale just yet, but it’s coming. Just like Contour Crafting, Stone Spray may help build houses in low-income communities and third-world countries. By eliminating the risk posed by regular construction and requiring only the energy created by solar panels, we might just have the first renewable construction system on our hands.
Check out Stone Spray in action below. It can already build awesome sand sculptures.
[h/t: Tree Hugger]