Print a Home
You need to face a lot of issues and climb up hurdles to rise a square foot of wall in your dream home. Ever-inflating brick and cement rates, weather issues shipping or materials delays and labor disputes will always hover above our construction ideas like a dark cloud. But, what if a builder comes to you and says, ‘I will deliver your 2,500 square foot house in 24 hours time.’ We would be taken aback by such a proposition. However, this is something real, not some project that is in embryonic stage, which might be developed in the next 20 or 30 years.
Professor Behrokh Khoshnevis of the University of Southern California has been working on the technique of ‘Contour Crafting’ (CC), since 2008. The printing technology is said to have put together a whole room within an hour. For now, the giant robotic printer could be used to build a structure about 23 feet long, about 7 feet high and about 15 feet wide. The crafting technology is also said to have embedded all of the necessary requirements to run a home, such as electricity, plumbing and air conditioning. Khoshnevis claims that the CC technology would be the ideal solution for world’s slums and areas destroyed by natural disasters. NASA has also showed interest in CC, which could build lunar habitats and laboratories on the Moon that could eventually house human life.
WinSun Decoration Design Engineering of China recently got lot of press coverage for its much-heralded 32 meter-long 3D printers, which are being used to make 10 full-sized, detached single-storey houses in a day. The ‘ink’ for the printer is made from mixing cement with tons of construction and industrial wastes. In China, each year, nearly 1.5 billion tons of construction wastes are generated, but, only up to five percent of it is reused. So, this new type of housing is designed to recycle wastes, to be environment-friendly and also cost-effective. Winsun is now building nearly 100 recycling facilities to meet the growing demand for the 3D structures.
DUS Architects – a Dutch firm is aiming to have the capability within three years to print an entire multi-storey house. It is currently working in developing a machine that is capable of printing large building blocks that can fit together, with no waste.
However, real estate experts are predicting that 3D printing of houses might not impact the poor countries, say Haiti or Somalia. Although, this technology may not threaten established international developers, this system might end up on the moon quickly before the wretched places on earth. This giant 3D printing technology clearly has a lot of potential and is an big experimental first step towards influential, collaborative architecture.