Instant architecture is fascinating because it allows us to imagine cities built ultra-fast in the wake of some apocalypse. And now, a group of inventors in Italy have created a robot that can build houses in hours, by extruding mud into the perfect design.

This video was taken at the Maker Faire in Rome, where a 3D printer company called WASP was showing how their giant-sized printer could build a mud house in just a few days. Imagine dialing in a house design, and watching this robot/3D printer building it for you, layer by layer. If you had a dozen of these, you could build a modest village in a week.


It would be perfect for a city or village hit by a natural disaster, where people will need shelters quickly.

But in a more futurist vein, I love the idea that these could be used for high-tech nomad living. People could move from place to place with their machines, then settle down for perhaps a season, building their semi-permanent homes in a few days. When they're ready to move on, they break their huts down before leaving. All you need is a rig to haul your 3D printer and you can also hire yourself out for post-apocalyptic kingdoms in need of new Great Walls.