Italian firm WASP (World Advanced Saving Project) has produced a 3D printer that creates houses out of mud. The details can be seen from the following two articles 3D printed mud houses will soon be an option in impoverished countries, and Delta 3D printer from WASP prints sustainable houses made from mud. The ideas behind the technology are great, however, my concern here has to do with the social effects of the technology. If the effect of using this technology is to replace humans in the construction of a home or shelter, then is that not likely to lead to a deskilling of the local workforce, which is likely to lead to more social problems. Is it the best solution to go into an impoverished community and offer an external solution like this? What are the repercussion from doing so?
Another similar story is, Giant Chinese 3D printer builds 10 houses in just 1 day. Using mine tailings, a cheap material, it’s able to quickly extrude the structures to create a house. This is great for emergence housing after a natural disaster (bushfires, or floods), or for humanitarian disasters. However, in Engineering there is a diagram that describes the Fast-Cheap-good because it is cheap & quick it suffers. This image from Sunflood Studios shows it clearly;