Phase 3 / Earth of the Venice Lagoon: from ground to printed architecture

During the final phase of the workshop, we 3D printed with the collected samples and discussed their possible application together with Alexandre Dubor.

As we ran manual tests before printing all the samples, it turned out to be slightly different with the WASP printer. The nozzle of the extruder is much smaller compared to the manual ones. Earth samples 1, 3 and 6 (see the description) had good consistency, and we were able to print basic cylinders to test. We didn’t succeed with Earth 4, and samples 2, 5 and 7 appeared to be problematic because of the amount of sand particles in the clay. The mixture was getting compact and stuck in the extruder. 

This research and experiments generated a lot of ethical questions concerning 3D printing using earth from the Venice Lagoon. These are the main ones that we identified: 

  • When it comes down to earth, what can we do with it – and, more importantly, should we do something with it?
  • Can we learn anything from the politics, both social and material, that apply to the Venice lagoon?
  • Can we produce building materials from contaminated sediments dredged from the canals?
  • Can 3D printing be an opportunity to restore the Lagoon’s ecosystem?

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