A University of Southern California has recently commented about how it is possible, using today’s 3D printing technologies (with some modifications), to ‘print’ a full 2500 square foot house. The house could be built in less than 20 hours, according to the professor. The technique is known as contour crafting, and it was created by Behrokh Khoshnevis, who is the director of the manufacturing engineering graduate program at USC.
He spoke about this innovative new construction option in a presentation at TEDxOjai, where he said, “Construction the way it’s done today is very wasteful. Our solution benefits from advanced technology…it is essentially a way of streamlining the process of construction by benefiting from the experience we have gained in the field of manufacturing.”
The process works by having the 3D printer lay out concrete and interlocking steel bars as it builds the structure. The printer can handle virtually everything within the house, including the plumbing, electrical, flooring and more. It can build most types of houses, including multi-story structures.
The below video is from the ContourCrafting.org site, where the technology behind this new method for building houses is explained. As begins to be put into practice, there will undoubtedly be advancements and improvements, allowing for even more creative structures.
Imagine, being able to send in a few of these home building printers to an area devastated by disaster. Rebuilding entire neighborhoods could take weeks or months, rather than years. In addition, the USC is working with NASA to use this type of technology to be able to build lunar structures, including landing pads, radiation walls and even fuel vessels.
This is quite an extraordinary new use for 3D printing, and one that I think everyone should be excited about!