3D Printing with Sand… Its as Awesome as it Sounds.
Posted on: 08/09/2012 08:23 PM

We all get know about 3D printing with plastic, but have you ever thought about 3D printing with other materials? These researchers already are.

Stone Spray is a revolutionary construction method which uses soil as a base material and a liquid binder to solidify the soil's particles. I know that sounded a little crazy, but the process is simple. The 3D printing robot uses a jet spray of a water-like binder to shoot a mix of soil and binder, allowing for constructing of architectural shapes. Just keep reading…

Normally 3D printing involves similar material laying on top of itself as the structure grows, but StoneSpray varies the method as the object being created gets larger. For example, for objects up to 30mm, the tool paths are done in a straight line. From 30mm-60mm this is done in a spiral, and anything over 60mm uses a triangular spiral path. The printer uses specific architechtual shapes so that the objects are strong enough to stand. The idea is to eventually be able to create structures that can hold serious weight, like the rendered image above.

The Stone Spray Robot is very "green". It requires very little energy to operate, and can be powered by solar energy only. The solidifier material is eco-friendly too; its composed out of LEED Certified components. Printing does take a while, though - about 3 to 4 hours for each one. Eventually, the researchers hope to network the robots to work together to create objects and structures. Anyone up for a 3D printed sand house?

Check out Stone Spray's website, or read the document below for the full research. (When I say full research, I'm saying like full book kind of research. These guys (and girl) really know what they are doing.)

Open publication - Free publishing

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