3D printing buildings and other structures with soil and binder

Stone Spray is a promising-looking 3D printer that is intended to produce building-scale structures by combining soil with binder from a spray-nozzle. Unfortunately, all the meaty tech information is locked up in a weird "book" player that doesn't work well on my screen, but you can get a general idea from the video above (I recommend scrolling at 10-20 second intervals and turning off sound).

Stone Spray Project


  1. The coral-like constructions shown are beautiful, but I found myself wishing they’d show a simple geometric shape as a proof of concept for useful construction.  A simple cube would go a long way toward showing that the process has potential for practical use.

  2. Great news, I can’t wait until my little RepRap Prusa  grows up and becomes a builder! Better start saving for her upgrade.

  3. Used to make sandcastles like this as a kid, but with water (and sea salt, I guess) as the binder. Just hold wet sand, and the dribbles come out at the right consistency to build complex structures like flying buttresses and stuff.

  4. “(I recommend … turning off sound).”

    I liked the music. I thought it was better than anything I’ve ever heard Amy pimp on here.

  5. This system looks like it sprays sand and binder all over, with the hope of getting some to stick where desired. Perhaps it might be better to use layers of sand rather than spray&pray technique.  Layers is what is used in professional Fused Deposition Manufacturing (FDM) systems like the Objet etc.  

  6. I’m glad Boing Boing has introduced me to the magic of 3D printing. Still waiting for one that uses a hemp-based material. Cheap(er), sustainable 3D printing, anyone?

    1. Well, this one uses sand. You don’t get much cheaper.  If you want a plastic printer, *in principle* you can make a printable plastic out of potatoes, but I don’t know of anyone doing it at scale.

  7. Nice music and Gaudi inspiration. That said, I think I would feel more comfortable about the strength of a structure made using more techniques from sand castle creation due to the huge amount of lacunae you get. When 3d printing with metal powder is done for example IIRC these lacuna need to get filled in for max strength. Incidentally this reminds me of ant mazes. Using the OP’s kind of printing system to print a cast in the sand and pouring concrete into it might also work.

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