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These married architects are democratizing the 3-D printing process, using materials destined for the trash heap — like curry powder and coffee grounds — in place of drywall and foam.

AKLAND, Calif. — On a bone-chilling day here with the winter rains pelting down, the architects Ronald Rael and Virginia San Fratello retreated to their cozy 3-D printed cabin in the backyard.

A wall of moist succulents on the facade was springing to luxuriant life, embedded in rosette-patterned tiles 3-D printed from chardonnay grape skins, sawdust and cement. Raindrops pitter-pattered across 3-D-fabricated ceramic shingles.

Inside, a translucent bioplastic wall with cloudlike swirls — yes, also 3-D printed — changed colors on demand as Mr. Rael, with a clicker, shifted the hues from pink to green to purple, bathing the interior in otherworldly light.

It was just another weekend for the couple, 3-D printing pioneers who have developed novel techniques for sustainable building, often using low-cost waste materials like mud, dirt, nutshells, coffee grounds, and other discards that are “essentially free,” Ms. San Fratello said.

Sourse: The New York Times

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