Having a home with heating and air conditioning, along with more than suitable washing facilities, is something that most people take for granted and don’t even think about. Most people after attending school, select the career path that they wish to travel down and then move out of their parents’ homes to start looking for a place they can call their own. This unfortunately is not the path that is available for others who live in poverty in the poorer countries of the world.

However, there could be great news for those who find themselves without a place to call home. An Italian company plans to use a specially adapted 3D printer that can print a home from natural materials. This breakthrough, like many other breakthroughs linked to 3D printing, has the ability to transform millions of lives for the better. The 3D printer that will be used has been developed so it can be easily transportable and has the ability to build homes by using simple materials such as mud and clay, all of which are free and naturally found all over the world!

The company, which has come up with the idea, is called WASP or World Advanced Saving Project.  What’s exciting about this project is that the 3D printer can be assembled in an incredible two hours. The printer consists of three arms and each arm can reach six meters in height. This six meter height ability is higher than the mud huts that are currently being used as living facilities today. This basically means that the printer can easily create liveable mud huts without any height restrictions when building.

 Model 3D printed mud hut by WASP

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Unlike traditional building and methods used in construction, where solid blocks are most commonly used, this 3D printer forms small, triangular building blocks. The advantages of printing off small triangular blocks are that it allows the walls to bear a greater amount of pressure and divides the weight load, which is far better in regards to older traditional methods used.

Check out the video below and see the printer in action at a Science fair recently held in Rome, Italy. In the video, you will hear all about the positive attributes that come with using this piece of machinery from one of the WASP project workers. It’s amazing and you can see from the small model sized home that is created that the mud huts are extremely sturdy and robust.

WASP is the second largest 3D printing company in Italy and they have taken on this challenge in an effort to show the world the practicality of using a 3D printer to tackle real life problems. The project has been funded by WASP using money gained from commercial sales of their 3D printers and other equipment connected to 3D printing technology. The plan is to have the first fully constructed house created using one of their adapted 3D printers by early 2015. From the video above, it shows that the engineers and workers at WASP are well on track and know what they are doing. The company WASP actually chose its name based on the way that the insect wasp builds its home. The common wasp gathers mud and hair in its jaws and uses saliva to bend and builds the shape of its home. Although at this stage the company WASP only intends to use mud and clay and natural materials which does not include saliva!

What’s mind blowing about this case is that a social issue (POVERTY) that has impacted people since the beginning of time is now being addressed and serious attempts are being made to tackle this problem and weaken its power over humanity. The thing that excites when it comes to 3D printing is that the technology is incredibly versatile and can be used in a wide and extensive number of ways. People’s lives are being saved, products on our consumer market are being improved, and the health services available to us are reaching new high standards.

The technology of 3D printing is powerful and influential but does it have the potential to change the world that we live in realistically? The thing with 3D printing is that the technology itself is around 30 years or older. It seems that when it came on the scene years ago, that the world wasn’t ready. Computers were on the scene around the same time and it looks like the attention and focus was concentrated on computers and that area of technology. 3D printing had no option but to sit back and wait until the time was right to steal the limelight.

Today, we live in a technology orientated world. People in society are consumed by what’s new, groundbreaking and inventive. Thinking back over the last five to ten years, has there ever been a technology as publicized and groundbreaking as 3D printing technology? From its humble beginnings in the dark rooms of engineers and scientists, 3D printing has come a long way and is now fully available to the masses in the mainstream and at the front of cutting edge industrial manufacturing.

Industry changes and improves as technology we use to carry out tasks improves. Using 3D printers in manufacturing has endless attributes saving money on product creation and materials are but a few to mention. A massive price drop in costs regarding buying a 3D printer has also increased this technology and its popularity.

The technology of 3D printing has moved on from being exclusive to modelling and rapid prototyping. Even celebrities are getting in on the act when it comes to using 3D printers. Jay Leno TV chat show host recently used a 3D printer to create specific car parts from scratch to help build up and complete his collection of model cars.

Music legend Wil.i.am, recently teamed up with Coca-Cola in an effort to use 3D printers to promote recycling the project, which is called EKOCYCLE. Every single year, millions of tons of plastic materials are thrown away and sit filling up landfill sites all over the world. So Wil.i.am and Coca-Cola teamed up and started using recycled plastic bottles. They filled 3D printers with the recycled plastic filament. This has been a successful exercise as the recycled plastic bottles make great materials to fill 3D printers with to create new items and undertake various projects and tasks. Using recycled materials to produce items created by a 3D printer means that there is real action taking place to eradicate the needless plastic waste disposal. In essence, using recycled materials brings about a healthier environment and protects it for the future generations to come.

The thing with 3D printing is that it’s not limited to a single person or specifically trained career. We have heard how celebrities are getting in on the act so let’s now take a look at how ordinary people just like me and you are using this technology to change the lives of those around them.

There is nothing more sobering and terrifying than being told that one of your loved ones has developed a brain tumor. This was a real life event for Michael Balzer.  Unfortunately, Michael’s wife had been diagnosed at the end of last year, but thanks to his knowledge and understanding of 3D printers and 3d printing technology, Michael explored 3D printing in an effort to try and save his wife’s life. Due to Michael’s insight into 3D printers and their capabilities, his wife’s treatment and recovery process was improved drastically.

Michael used a specialized 3D scanner to take accurate, detailed scans of his wife’s skull and where the tumor was located. Michael’s quick thinking helped give the surgeons and doctors the information that they needed to strategize the best treatment plan in order to save this woman’s life. Check out the interactive video below where you can actually see the position of the tumor at the base of the skull.

Anterior skull section with skull based tumor

by slo 3D creators

on Sketchfab

It is cases like the one above involving Michael Balzer and the harrowing situation that he faced that involved his wife. As we see more cases like this and the positive outcomes that are linked to using 3D printing technology, it will only help push the popularity of this technology to a whole new level.

In the beautiful land of Australia, it seems that 3D printing is all the rage and is used more each day in common practices than any other place in the world. Did you know that Australia is one of three countries in the world that offer a Masters Degree in Bio-Printing? It only backs up the fact that for 3D printing, Australia recognizes its importance.

We have heard of countless ways in which 3D printing has been used in Australia to some of which are ingenious and others just boggle the mind. Today, we are going to look at how specialists at the St Vincent’s Hospital used 3D printing to save a patient going through the harrowing thought of amputation.

The patient in question was a 71 year old man named Len Chandler. Len had unfortunately been diagnosed with cartilage cancer in the area of his foot, and in particular, around the heel. Due to the complexity of the structure of the foot and ankle, any patient in the past that was diagnosed with cancer in this area would have undergone surgery and had the limb amputated.  But a residing professor at the St Vincent’s Hospital by the name of Peter Choong had other ideas that involved using a 3D printer and 3D printing technology.

Peter Choong used a highly adapted 3D scanner to take scans of Len’s foot, especially around the area affected by the tumor. From the highly detailed scans, surgeons and specialists were able to create a prosthetic implant that would be implanted once the tumor was successfully removed. The patient’s life could have looked so different had the medical specialist not been quick to think and turn to 3D printing for help and an answer to the situation.


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The world of medicine and the services that are available now due to the introduction and implementation of 3D printing are of higher quality than that which was available in the past. Now 3d printers may not be part of your daily life or they might not be even found in your place of work, but this technology will take its place at the forefront of our lives sometime soon.