WASP is taking one week break, then starting again to conclude the building. New researches on materials and system automation coming soon.

Concluded the first part of the work, WASP is taking one week break, before starting again with renewed energy. “We have already proved that two men and one machine can 3d-print a comfortable and healthy shelter with extremely little money. We are very satisfied of the results, even if we know there is still a lot to do”, says Massimo Moretti, WASP founder and creator of Shamballa Technological Village, the place where BigDelta printer, 12 meters high, has been assembled and started. 3d-printing for the first time in the world a soil and straw building, predictably, it’s been hard, extreme in some way, but at the same time incredibly exciting considering the results already achieved.

3d-printing for the first time in the world a soil and straw building, predictably, it’s been hard, extreme in some way, but at the same time incredibly exciting considering the results already achieved.

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Solved problems

The list of the problems faced and constantly solved every day in the experimental camp in Massa Lombarda (Ravenna) is too long: let’s mention some of them. The main goal was to develop an extruder able to lay down scores of mixtures, to verify if the machine mechanism was able to stand a continuous work of material deposit, to solve the problem of the material loading after a significant high, to supervise the extruder during the printing phase, to face printing interruption and recovery, also connected to material pick up, to protect the wall from the rain in case of storms, and more. These are some of the difficulties we faced and solved.


The numbers

Here some data: we printed 270 centimeters of clay and straw wall, 5 meters diameter, using 40 tons of material. Layers are, overall, 135, with an average weight of 300 kilos each; time to create a layer: 20 minutes. Concerning the consumption, we talk about 2 cubic meters water and 200 Kwh. Now, the costs: 32 Euros for the energy, 3 Euros for the water, 10 Euros for the straw, 3 Euros for motor hoe  gasoline: total 48 Euros. Want to save more? Using the feet instead of the machine for kneading, the energy consumption lower by 90%.


Growing fast

“Clay and straw with no additive can be easily printed in 3d - Moretti says -. The period of transformation from liquid to solid  allows to print around 60 centimeters per day, or even more in the summer (maybe one meter per day). Therefore: two men and one machine can 3d-print a comfortable and healthy shelter in a very short time and with really little money”.

Fixed the mixtures, the wall is of high quality. Seen the initial analysis, it can bear strong stress, while the abundance of fiber guarantees its endurance. The relationship between weight and performance originated from clay and straw doesn’t seem to require  additional support for the walls. To avoid the plaster placer mining we used 10% lime.

The second phase

“When the work starts again, we will raise the wall until 4 meters, then we’ll create the door and build the roof. In the future we will test new materials and continue the research on soil and straw - reveals Moretti -. New challenges in the improvement of systems for cheap and fast material preparation are coming. The printer is doing its job and after the last changes in kinematics we will modify something in the extruder too.  The aim is automating the system and giving the machine the possibility  to print a shelter in few days. The goal is just around the corner.


Over 2 meters. And still growing

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Yesterday evening we saw the interesting tv report that SuperQuark dedicated to WASP (VIDEO HERE) and Shamballa project. It’s just a pity that it was recorded so we couldn’t include current images from the camp: the wall, in fact, has already passed the high of 2 meters, and printing is going on.

In moments like these we often remind all the problems we faced every day. For example when we had to change the skids because, for the consumption, they had eroded the machine tool and blocked the work. We had to plan a new skid, but every cloud has a silver lining considering that afterwards the machine doubled the printing speed.

Then, passed 2 meters, we faced new difficulties. To load up we needed to reach at least 3 meters. We tried every kind of pump, but nothing seemed to work: the mixture was too solid to be pumped in. So we bought a scaffolding and an elevator, connected the elevator to the scaffolding and found out that this is the best solution to load the material.

However, there was still a problem: what if the material ends when the extruder is far from the point of loading (and it always happens)? Luckily Dennis worked it out by inserting a position of loading in the firmware and a new command in the machine menu. Pretty easy, right? By pushing the voice “load material” the extruder reaches us in the exact point where we need to load it. Thanks Dennis!

Now we can easily reach 4 meters high. We doubled the printing speed, we removed the blockage in the extruder, we improved the materials. It looks like there are not big difficulties ahead: printing goes on.

Let’s print together the first adobe building !!

The WASP’s Technological Village is working non-stop these days at the open-air construction site, in Massa Lombarda (Ravenna). We are proceeding with experiments from Monday to Friday whereas during Weekends we plan following activities. Now WASP invites all the Makers and everybody interested to partecipate and actively contribute to the building of the first house entirely printed with eco-friendly, locally found, materials (a mixture of terrain and straw kneaded with a mixing machine and a motor hoe).

The working method is simple: for every problem we look for the best solution. Everyday we are learning more and more, managing small and big problems and trying to solve them. The test we started the last Saturday seems impressive and we have decided to continue to print till the conclusion of the first habitable module.

First experiences have taught us a lot. The mixture of terrain and straw is light and strong. Now we have a 50-centimeter-high wall, extruding more than 400 quintal of material.

IMG_7454 (FILEminimizer)

The way now is open and the performance will be finished destroying the prototype, so the raw material will be cultivable again. The keyword of the Technological village is “DIY”. We want to build a new Economy Vision based on a self-sufficient Society able to produce basic requirements in many fields: Housing, Food, Employment, Healthcare, Education and Art.

At the Shamballa Technological Village the BigDelta prints and WASP is organizing open-air workshops inviting all the Makers to partecipate.

During the next days we’ll bring to Shamballa other WASP’s printers. For example the Delta WASP 3MT, a machine able to print plastic pellet or, changing the extruder, semi-fluid materials (such as geopolymers and clay) and, with an other tool, can mill and cut different types of materials.

In fact at the Technological Village we will produce house furnitures and it will be the theme of the first open-air workshop that will start the next Saturday the 23rd July. Who is interested partecipating is welcome to use WASP’s printers. The next workshops, always at weekends, will concentrate on vertical vegetable gardens (aromatic spirals), ceramic plates printing and kilns construction.

Some friends from the FabLab Venezia worked with us some days ago. We invite all the Makers who want to turn dreams into action to come here in Shamballa.

Experimentation started at the Technological Village of Shamballa

We have started to experiment with the huge  BigDelta WASP 12MT  in della Cooperazione road - Massa Lombarda (RA).

Read more

Confindustria-Ravenna visits WASP

Company visit in WASP to present Shamballa, the new Technological Village of Massa Lombarda, an eco-friendly village that will be an important research station focused on 3D printing.

After the first meeting in Confindustria, when Massimo Moretti spoke about the Big Delta WASP, the 12-metres-high 3D printer, and showed the Delta WASP 2040 (a smaller 3D printer) describing how the project was born.

The event has been organized by Romagna Executive Education, the business school of Sestante and Confindustria Ravenna.

Lama Alak Rinpoche in WASP

Incontro con il Lama Alak Rinpoche in WASP 2

Lama Alak Rinpoche  in WASP. 

We will exchange views about the Shamballa Project and the knowledge-sharing topic.


  Here you can find more information about Lama Alak Rinpoche.


The huge 3D printer will be the heart of a technological village rising up in Massa Lombarda in partnership with the Municipality


It’s Rising up a technological village dedicated to 3D printing, the heart of this project is the 12-metres-high printer BigDelta WASP. It happens in Massa Lombarda (Ravenna) thanks to a partnership between CSP srl (Centro Sviluppo Progetti – WASProject) and the Municipality that has made available a green area in the industrial zone of the town, in Cooperazione road.

Tuesday March 22th, the Mayor Daniele Bassi and the CSP Business Owner Massimo Moretti, are going to sign the agreement. Works will start at the beginning of next April.

WASP, leader in 3D printing technology, with the goal to disseminate the current state of its technology wants to build an eco-friendly village with low energy consumption. Therefore, Massa Lombarda is going to become an important Technology Experimentation Centre dedicated to 3D printing, a unique case in Italy and maybe in the World.

Massa Lombarda has always been a district interested in innovation – says the Mayor Daniele Bassi – the important agreement we signed today proves that the cohesion of energy, allegiance and creativity between the Municipality and a capable Entreprenuer like Massimo Moretti, it’s a crucial element of development for our city and the youth who we want to guarantee an adequate future commensurate to their hope”.

We decided to name the technological village Shamballa – says Moretti – from the name of the mythological place that symbolizes the city of peace, tranquility and happiness. A city quoted in a lot of cultural documents for its spirituality and technical advance. House, Food, Employment, Healthcare and Wellness are the basic human necessities of life – continues Moretti – In our Shamballa we’ll print houses and vertical vegetable gardens of different sizes. There will also be a laboratory for compact desktop printer to make objects (fornitures, biomedical, jewellery, ceramics). Thanks to the collaboration with some artists we are developping a cultural project”.

It’ll be the realization of the Maker Economy, the WASP idea of a sustainable economy, a new economical model where everything is selfmade and nobody depends on monopolistic companies. Quick exportable, it would be suitable for places where there is no productive potential or well-functioning infrastructures. Wasp is interested in taking care of World’s poorest country.

The BigDelta was shown for the first time during the meeting La realtà del sogno, happened in Massa Lombarda where more then a thousand people took part from 18 to 20 September 2015. In October 2015 the huge printer was bringed to Rome at Maker Faire 2015, where obtained a positive outcome. Inactive for some months because of the climate, now the BigDelta returns to work in a permanent location. The agreement signed today will last three years and is renewable.