Massimo Moretti, Founder and CEO of WASP, a leading company in the 3D printing industry, has been a guest of Bologna Business School for the third Innovation Talk of the autumn edition. During his speech Maker Economy Starter Kit, Moretti shared with the BBS Community the mission of his company, that is the project to create a house affordable to everyone and with low environmental impact, printed with an innovative technology capable of combining the most ancient material, the earth, with the most modern knowledge.
The resources of the planet are not sufficient to support the current demographic explosion and changing the development models is a challenge that the WASP team faces every day, working to disseminate the most advanced technologies and incentivizing self-production through the innovative 3D printers. A challenge, this one, gathered in 2012 with a clear and ambitious goal leading the team and the project: print homes for everyone with eco-friendly local materials, to encourage the development of a society founded on an idea of equality, meritocracy and shared well-being.
“In the end, we are makers, a group of people who love to do things, but without specific technical or scientific knowledge. But we have the web and a collective knowledge that gives everyone the opportunity to be protagonists in this world subject to an increasingly rapid evolution,” said Massimo Moretti recalling the beginnings, when the questions were more than the answers. “Tonight, something great will happen, the first exploratory probe will land on Mars. Man has this unique ability to make even the most hostile places, habitable. Yet, if we look at the Earth, we see that there is a great concentration of people in a few spaces. By 2050, we will need houses for 30 billion people and perhaps, before thinking of the colonies on Mars, we should commit ourselves to making the vast deserts of our wonderful planet livable.”
Small subtle thoughts take shape by depositing. This is the guiding thought of the company, inspired by the potter wasp. “As the wasp creates a house using the material it finds on site, so we deposit material little by little with our 3D printers and, thought after thought, we try to build houses and objects to change the world around us,” explained Moretti. In fact, the WASP project is not just technology applied to an ideal, but a humanistic experiment: navigating between art and science, economy and politics, WASP designs equipment and models of sustainable development by sharing its vision with 12 HUBs in Italy and abroad.
“We’re not so crazy to believe we can save the world, but we are crazy enough to work on it.” – Massimo Moretti
“We built the first printer to print clay with components purchased at the mall, to start with something small and gradually learn. We had set ourselves a goal: if we were able to double the size of the house year after year, within 4 years we would be able to print a real house,” recalled Moretti. Gaia, the first house built with raw local land (zero-mile), and waste from the processing of rice (straw and rice husk), has finally become a reality and was presented by WASP on October 6 and 7 in Massa Lombarda ( RA). “The house is in A4 class and does not need heating. Where we took the land to build the house, we created a pond with fish, which produce nitrogen and in turn nourish a vertical garden printed with recycled plastics. We did not want to create only a home but a small ecosystem that could give serenity to those who live there,” added the founder of WASP.
The WASP project proves unique in its kind both for its important objective and for the economic model on which it is based. “The project was born without any kind of financing, but with the idea that the printers themselves would serve as an exchange currency. It is our vision that generates the project, which then turns into a product, which fuels and finances the vision. Finally, our vision promotes products and creates a perfect circle,” explained Moretti.
In addition to the right to housing, the 6 WASP fields of action also include the right to food, health, energy, work and culture. “A very important sector on which we are focusing is the digital orthopedic printing, since 3D printing is particularly suitable for creating products that fit perfectly with the human body.” The digital fabrication assisted by 3D printing therefore covers all the areas that can help man to meet his needs and improve his living conditions. “In 2015 we also created the Maker Economy Starter Kit, a container with everything needed to independently produce the answers to the needs of a community,” said Moretti, explaining how the primary interests of WASP are to develop not only the technologies, but above all the processes necessary to be able to use them independently.
“WASP is a candidate in the next few years to become a world leader in 3D printing on architectural scale and we aim to demonstrate that we can also build a house with natural materials. On the market, we will compete with those who build in concrete, but we can be more efficient in terms of costs, transport speed and construction,” concluded Massimo Moretti, announcing the participation of WASP at EXPO Dubai 2020, where the company will have to share its visionary project with the world.
“A new model in which everything can be self-produced, where there is the possibility of not depending on impassable entities that hold the production monopoly. Our research focuses on collective well-being and shared knowledge. It is not necessary to be great to deal with big issues, it is precisely these contents that make sense out of our work.” – Massimo Moretti