3D printing

Will it be possible to build an entire house with 3D printing?

In the future, houses might be built using 3D printing. NASA has shown a strong interest in this technological application, which might be used to construct lunar modules in the next decade.

3D printing was one of the hottest topics of this past year. And of course it has occupied a privileged position in the articles of Think Big. As Patricia Balaguer explained in her summary of the most popular posts of 2013, 3D printers are not only promising tools, but have also sparked significant interest among our readers.

And the thing is that this incredible technique, which is at the forefront of the industrial revolution 2.0 of the next decade, is already offering some very unconventional applications in areas such as healthcare, fashion, art and education. In some ways, 3D printing bears out the quote from famed writer William Arthur Ward:

If you can imagine it, you can create it. If you can dream it, you can become it 

One of the reasons that 3D printing has revolutionised technology so much is precisely that it now allows us to create anything that we’ve ever dreamed up. Can we go further? For example, could this technique be used to build the houses of the future?

Architecture, next to benefit from 3D printing

As we mentioned a few weeks ago, at least one person has already posed this question:  Behrokh Khoshnevis, developer of the Contour Crafting project, whose main goal is to use 3D printing to build houses and reduce the problems related to habitability.

Construction is done using jumbo printers that can complete the construction of a house in just 20 hours. Record time for this massive architectural task. In addition to construction, the work can include the connection of the electrical, water and heating installations of the house.

As Khoshnevis explains in this interview, “the idea occurred to him by looking at the automation of many industrial processes». Why not try to build houses using 3D printing? This initiative would not only save time and materials, but could also be used in emergency situations such as natural disasters.

Also, the use of 3D printers would allow us to optimise the designs of our homes from a computer. Just modify the architectural plans of the house, and the 3D printer will construct your dream house exactly according to the pre-set instructions. This would also avoid unnecessary costs, because construction costs would be reduced by 30 or 40 percent, according to Khoshnevis.

3D printing

The potential of this project is so great that NASA has asked this scientist at the University of Southern California to build lunar modules, in the same way that the hypothetical homes would be constructed. An important investment in a technological initiative, 3D printing, that promises to revolutionise our day-to-day lives.

Images | Dawn Endico (Wikimedia), FastCoExist



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