A factory in Rungis, France used a 3D robotic arm to print the framework of a concrete wall.

Are we on the verge of a 3D-printed house revolution?

Need a place to live? simply click print.

An easier, quicker, and more affordable alternative to traditional home construction is 3D printing.

From a neighbourhood of 100 homes in Georgetown, Texas, to a single-family home in Borneo, Malaysia, the distinctive designs and walls, which are constructed of stacked thin layers of concrete,

are appearing everywhere.

3D-printed homes are transitioning from a niche gimmick to a potential mainstream housing solution in an era of skyrocketing housing costs and growing concern for sustainability.
Reducing Housing costs with additive manufacturing

The truth isn’t all that revolutionary, despite rumours that these homes can be constructed for only $10,000 and in as little as 24 hours.

The CEO of Harcourt Technologies, Justin Kinsella, stated that there was a lot of false information available. We witnessed some crazy things, like men claiming they could build a house in two days for $10,000. The phrase “there is no such thing”

However, according to Zach Mannheimer, CEO of Alquist 3D, which aims to build affordable 3D-printed homes to serve lower-income communities,

3D-printed houses are already 5% to 10% less expensive than a regular build in the United States. Experts also predict that costs will decrease as the industry grows.

A 2018 investigation published in the scholarly journal IOP: According to Materials Science and Engineerings, a UK-based company, 3D printing can reduce costs by at least 35%.
While a house cannot be built in 24 to 48 hours with all of its windows, doors, and utilities,

the walls can be printed in that time.

Instead of the typical six to eight months needed to construct a house, industry experts claim that the finished product can be ready in as little as one and a half months.

AM and House construction

The largest community of 3D-printed houses is under construction and taking reservations for 2023.
Source: Newswire via AP

The way homes are constructed must be completely redesigned to incorporate 3D printing into current practices.

A typical house is constructed using concrete for the foundation and wooden planks for the rough framing of the walls and floors.

Before adding insulation and the final surfaces to the walls and floors, builders first install the fundamental plumbing and electrical systems.
For a 3D-printed house,

the foundation must still be made of concrete for stability, but once that is done, the walls are built right away using slightly thicker concrete that will hold up as the printer rotates. For windows and doors, the printer is programmed to leave precise cutouts.

There are successful examples, including a 3D-printed apartment building in Germany, even though a multi-story house is a little more challenging. There are no bricks or wood panels used.

In some instances, the printers are delivered to the location,

whereas in others, the homes, or individual homes’ components, are built off-site and delivered to the location.

Leveraging AM

The world is dotted with 3D-printed buildings, even though the technology hasn’t yet gone mainstream anywhere.

Early versions were created in the 2010s.

The first was a residential structure created using 3D printing in Yaroslavl, Russia, in 2017.

The same year, an office building in Dubai was constructed, and a home in Copenhagen was finished in 2018.

More nations have created models and practical homes as technology have advanced.
In 2021,

Japan constructed a model pod-shaped home for only $25,500.

The world’s first 3D-printed school is located in Malawi,

the first 3D-printed home for Airbnb is located in Canada, and Kenya intends to construct 52 affordable homes.

There are houses and an apartment building in Germany, a series of five homes in the Netherlands,

and a printed house that resembles a submarine in the Czech Republic.
According to Mallikarjuna Nadagouda, a researcher with the Environmental Protection Agency, “the technology is not yet mature or widespread enough.”
Very few design professionals are knowledgeable about how to design, specify, and obtain these for commercial clients, and there are no codes or standards relating to manufacturers or specifications.

The main obstacle is the availability of the right kinds of materials and their mass production.

However, the sector also requests increased funding for education initiatives and research to develop a workforce.

Addressing Worries about 3D-printed houses

Some customers might be concerned about how well a home made of 3D-printed hempcrete will hold up under extreme conditions, like hurricanes.

Government grants, according to developers, would be useful for studies demonstrating their viability. Several 3D-printed homes in Nacajuca, Mexico, were said to have withstood harsh conditions,

including a 7.4-magnitude earthquake, according to a September New York Times article. However, more study is required.
The speed of construction may make 3D-printed housing useful in responding to humanitarian crises if it can successfully withstand harsh environments. “

3D [printed] housing could undoubtedly be useful in emergencies like natural disasters

A solution to climate change

Regarding 3D-printed homes as a countermeasure to climate change,

HUD seems upbeat.

The HUD team believes that 3D printing is one of the most promising developments in construction that has the potential to lower housing costs and improve energy efficiency and resilience.

Source: Yahoo news, Youtube

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