Scientists at the University of California have developed a way to build a house one layer at a time using fast-drying concrete and a huge 3D printer. Most impressive of all, this printer could produce a 2,500 square-foot house in just 24 hours.
The process is known as ‘Contour Crafting’, and works in the same way as many 3D printers, utilizing a layer-by-layer construction process relying on a digital design. Although the giant printer would replace human workers in the construction process, skilled workers would still be needed to complete the building by installing fixtures, laying tiling, and completing the roofing process for each house.
Researchers in charge of the project, led by Professor Behrokh Khoshnevis, created the technology with the intention to provide cheaper housing options to keep up with the rapid growth of the global population. The huge 3D printer could potentially be used to print a whole neighborhood of houses, including embedding all the necessary electrical, plumbing and air-conditioning conduits. Each house could even be changed and customizing just by altering the 3D digital design, creating unique structures.
There may be even more exciting possibilities in store for the 3D printed structures, with developers aiming for some out-of-this world real estate. “Contour Crafting will most probably be one of the very few feasible approached for building structure on other planets, such as the Moon and Mars, which are being targeted for human colonization before the end of the new century.”