3D Printing Homes, Both Whimsical And Boring, May Not Be That Far Off [Video]
I have been maintaining for some time now that 3D printing has the potential to radically change our society in ways that we probably can’t even envision yet.
However some folks are seeing a future that could see our homes and workplaces being constructed; or rather printed, using 3D printing technology but on a much bigger scale.
Two separate stories popped up today that show the incredible potential of how 3D printing could change the landscape of building construction forever.
The first was about a company called Stone Spray Robot which is a group of architects that were originally looking for a way to print eco-friendly 3D mockups of their architectural designs when they stumbled across a possible method of creating eco-friendly structures.
The Stone Spray uses a jet spray system to deploy a soil and liquid binder mix that can be used to construct architectural shapes. While they aren’t what you would call habitable right now it is easy to see the potential for real buildings.
video via DVICE
The second story is a more immediate and practical 3D printing construction method called Contour Crafting and was created by University of Southern California professor Behrokh Khoshnevis.
Contour Crafting is for all intents and purposes a giant 3D printer that hangs over the space that the home will occupy and builds up the walls using layers of concrete. The machine can also add things like plumbing and wiring as it progresses upwards. The completed shell will just need things like doors and windows added manually, even the painting could be handled robotically.
Professor Behrokh Khoshnevis say that Contour Crafting will allow for low cost housing that’s cheap and fast to build, with far lower labor costs, and with less chance of construction workers being injured in the process. He sees it being especially valuable for eliminating slums in developing countries and for areas ravaged by earthquakes or other natural disasters, but says the process can be adapted for more luxurious homes and even large buildings.
Because the design is determined by a computer program, custom architectural features can be added or changed with a few clicks of a mouse, so you don’t end up with a house identical to all your neighbors.