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3-D Printer Creates Entire Buildings From Solid Rock

Posted By Sarah Parsons On March 17, 2010 @ 2:30 pm In Architecture,Design,Green Building,Urban design | 7 Comments

D-Shape, 3-D printer, Enrico Dini, 3D printer makes buildings, La Scuola Normale Superiore, Alta Space, Norman Foster, sculptures on the moon, green design [1]

Imagine a 3-d printer [2] so large that it can spit out entire buildings made from stone. Sounds science fiction-y, right? But that’s exactly what designer Enrico Dini [3] created with his prototype D-Shape printer [4]. Dini hopes to use the printer to create buildings made of stone and eventually, moon dust.

D-Shape, 3-D printer, Enrico Dini, 3D printer makes buildings, La Scuola Normale Superiore, Alta Space, Norman Foster, sculptures on the moon [5]

The printing process starts with a thin layer of sand. The printer [4] then sprays the sand with magnesium-based glue from hundreds of nozzles, which binds the sand into rock. That rock is then built up layer by layer, eventually taking shape of whatever object it is destined to become, be it a curvy sculpture or an entire cathedral. Dini has even been talking with La Scuola Normale Superiore [6], Alta Space [7] and Norman Foster [8] to design a printer that would work with moon dust, essentially creating a machine that can make an almost-instant moonbase!

We’re not sure that anyone will really bring D-Shape [4] to the moon, but it is totally amazing to think about the implications a printer like this could have on construction here on Earth. Dini claims the printer [4] is four times faster than conventional building, costs one-third to one-half the price of Portland cement and creates very little waste, so it’s better for the environment. Color us seriously impressed.

Via Fast Company [4]

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URL to article: http://inhabitat.com/3-d-printer-creates-entire-buildings-from-solid-rock/

URLs in this post:

[1] Image: http://www.inhabitat.com/2010/03/17/3-d-printer-creates-entire-buildings-from-solid-rock/printer3/

[2] 3-d printer: http://www.inhabitat.com/2005/06/15/print-a-house-in-24-hours-with-robots/

[3] Enrico Dini: http://www.shapeways.com/blog/archives/217-3D-printing-buildings-interview-with-Enrico-Dini-of-D_Shape.html

[4] prototype D-Shape printer: http://www.fastcompany.com/1579263/3-d-printing-whole-buildings-in-stonein-space-this-printer-rocks?partner=design_newsletter

[5] Image: http://www.inhabitat.com/2010/03/17/3-d-printer-creates-entire-buildings-from-solid-rock/printer2/

[6] La Scuola Normale Superiore: http://www.sns.it/en/

[7] Alta Space: http://www.alta-space.com/

[8] Norman Foster: http://www.fosterandpartners.com/Practice/Default.aspx

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