WASP WASP, an Italian company that makes 3D printers, says its 40-foot-tall BigDelta 3D printer is the largest of its kind in the world.

Italian engineering company WASP (World’s Advanced Saving Project) will debut its 40-foot-tall BigDelta 3D printer this weekend at a three-day conference in Rieti, Italy. WASP is by no means new to the 3D printing game. Over the last year, the company has publicized a handful of developments aimed at increasing the scale of and material options for additive manufacturing. The BigDelta brings much of that work full circle. It measures 19.6 feet wide and is fitted with a rotating nozzle that also functions as a mixer. It can extrude a range of materials, including clay reinforced with chemical additives and even concrete, Gizmag reports. The company hopes that the printer can eventually fabricate individual dwellings using locally sourced materials, particularly in regions lacking robust construction supply chains or as a part of disaster-relief efforts. [WASP + Gizmag + Engineering.com]

ICYMI: Pope Francis is coming to the U.S. and St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York is renovated and ready. [ARCHITECT]

Follow the rubber-paved road. Yellowstone National Park is partnering with tire-maker Michelin to counteract the wear and tear on its roads by paving them in asphalt made from recycled, shredded rubber tires. In addition to reducing landfill waste, the paving material's porous nature allows stormwater to permeate and effectively replenish the park's famous geysers. [Fast Company’s Co.Design]

A sliced view of the StoneCycling's WaterBasedBrick module.
Dutch startup StoneCycling is turning waste materials into building blocks, making it one of many studios that's looking beyond products to fabricate materials.

The do-it-yourself and maker communities are making their own ... materials? [ARCHITECT

These days communities are only as strong as the technology that supports them. As such, the Obama administration is investing $160 million in a series of initiatives aimed at better integrating technology with the way cities work. The funds and their related projects—which bridge the public and private sectors and include things like managing traffic, monitoring crime, and improving air quality—are intended for cities that have high-speed broadband networks in place. [CNet]

With the help of architect Werner Sobek, a German startup is adding another high-tech thermostat to the market for smart-home energy management. [Curbed]

Synthetic materials like coatings, foams, and plastics are increasingly used in residential and commercial interiors. Although they can improve the space's resilience and performance, they can turn lethal in the event of a fire, raising the health stakes for firefighters and other first responders who must enter environments where toxic smoke is rampant. [CityLab]