If you’re still trying to figure out the art of sand castle building, stop right now and take a look at what as you beat.
While 3D printing isn’t exactly new, I think it is safe to say that buildings just simply weren’t possible before now. However a printer called the D-Shape, invented by Enrico Dini, has taken it to the next level reports Mashable.
The three-dimensional printing apparatus has hundreds of nozzles on its underside, which spray the inorganic binding glue that turns the sand into solid stone and builds up objects in layers from the bottom up. D-Shape can generate a building about four times as fast as the traditional construction method at only half the cost — or less. Less waste left behind also makes the 3D printing process environmentally friendlier than conventional alternatives.
Interestingly, D-Shape’s next challenge might be building moon bases. Its inventor is currently in talks with the European Space Agency about creating a version of the device that could use lunar dust to build structures on the surface of our nearest celestial neighbor.
Photo by D-Shape