In the mid-1980s something revolutionary was developed – 3D printers. The technology was amazing, almost unbelievable. 3D computer files could now be used to create a 3D, working object. It revolutionized how concepts are turned into working prototypes. When they first became available, 3D printers cost five to six figures. Today, you can purchase a 3D printer for under $300 making them affordable for hobbyists and personal use. See what’s available on Amazon here.
The Future Of Home Building.The revolution in home building using 3D printers. That’s right, homes are being built with massive 3D printers. In 2018, ICON was the first company in America to build a 3D printed prototype home. The house in Austin, TX, proved the concept and possibilities. Read all about it here. Today there are more than a dozen companies from around the globe that are developing 3D printed housing technology and equipment and proving that the technology actually works. Learn more about 3D printed house companies here.
What is a 3D printed house?
A 3D printed house is created by using very large 3D printers. The most common printers have a very large robotic arm that extrudes concrete through nozzles. The arm moves in multiple planes extruding concrete layer by layer to gradually build up an object the size of a house. A concrete dryer allows for the building material to solidify quickly before another layer goes on. Watch this YouTube video to see a home being 3D printed.
3D printed home for sale.
The first 3D printed home listed for sale in the US is located in Riverhead, NY. The home is listed for $299,999, 50% below the price of comparable newly-constructed homes in the area. The home was printed on site by SQ4D Inc. using their Autonomous Robotic Construction System (ARCS). It has approximately 1,500 square feet of living space plus a 750 square foot 2 1/2 car garage on a 1/4 acre lot. ARCS technology robotically builds the footings, foundations, interior and exterior walls using eco-friendly concreted at a fraction of the cost of traditional wood-frame construction. Click here to check it out.
What are the benefits of 3D home construction?
- SPEED   24 hours? Hard to believe but 3D printing time of a small house may only take about 24 hours. The 3D wall system build is spread out to allow for plumbing, electrical, roof, doors and window installation. Still, from start to finish, a 3D printed house saves a massive amount of time taking about 30 - 60 days to complete compared to 6 or more months for conventional house construction.
- COST   3D printed houses have much lower building costs than those built by traditional methods. This is due to the reductions in raw materials, waste and most importantly labor. Up to an 80% reduction of labor can be achieved by having most of the construction 3D printed.
- DESIGN   3D printing can create design shapes and customization that is not possible or incredibly expensive if built conventionally. Precise, intricate and complex shapes can be printed enhancing aesthetics and function.
- STRENGTH   3D printed houses are structurally superior to traditional homes. There are fewer stress points and concrete, the primary material used, is more durable than wood frame.
- WASTE   3D printing uses very little energy, uses much more sustainable materials and saves 70% of the waste of traditional construction. There is almost zero waste for the 3D printer concrete material because the amount needed is computed before construction begins. In addition, recycled materials can be used and unused materials recycled.
What the future holds.
3D printed building technology isn’t restricted to residences. 3D metal technology has been developed by a Dutch company (MX3D) that prints 3D metal structures. This technology provides the extra strength to build industrial structures like bridges. If you would like to learn more, go here.
Though this technology and other larger, more commercial and industrial 3D print technology is in the infant stage, don’t be surprised to see office buildings, shopping malls and manufacturing facilities being 3D printed in the not too distant future.