Feat of clay: Italian team completes first eco house printed from mud

Italian 3D printing specialist Wasp has completed the first habitation to be printed from raw earth.

The Tecla (technology and clay) home has been built in the town of Massa Lombarda, near Ravenna in northeast Italy, to a design by Mario Cucinella Architects (MCA).

The project, which drew inspiration from novelist Italo Calvino’s book Invisible Cities, aims to combine materials from the dawn of civilisation with 21st-century technology.

Massimo Moretti (right) stands in the completed house with Mario Cucinella (Wasp)

Massimo Moretti, a founder of Wasp, commented: "Tecla shows that a beautiful, healthy and sustainable home can be built by a machine."

Mario Cucinella, the founder of MCA and the School of Sustainability, added that it would be "truly extraordinary to shape the future by transforming this ancient material with the technologies we have available today".

The almost zero-carbon project was built using Crane Wasp, a system that combines two synchronised printer arms simultaneously. Each has a printing area of 50 sq m which, according to Wasp, makes it possible to build a housing module in "a few days".

Each home has an area of about 60 sq m, and combines a "living zone" with a kitchen, and a "night zone", which has a bedroom and the building’s services. The furnishings are partly printed from local earth and integrated into the structure, and are designed to be recycled or reused.

Each house has a skylight and a tree (Wasp)

The Tecla system can complete a unit in about 200 hours. During this time it can print 350 12mm layers using about 6kW of electricity to power its equipment.

Wasp adds that the housing model is entirely "made in Italy", using Italian equipment and companies.

Top image: The project was partly inspired by Italo Calvino’s surreal idea of "continuous cities" (Wasp)

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