Print Your Own House

from the habitat-for-humanity-out-of-business? dept

Does Habitat for Humanity have some robotic competition? We’ve talked about 3D printers many times in the past, but this is a bit different. An article from New Scientist describes a new building robot that can “print” a house. As the article describes: “It takes instructions directly from an architect’s computerized drawings and then squirts successive layers of concrete on top of one other to build up vertical walls and domed roofs.” It doesn’t necessarily need to be concrete either. They’re looking into using other materials as well. The creator of the device is hoping that it will be able to build an entire 2,000 square-foot home in a single day with no human help. Even more interesting is that the robot may make it possible to do designs that were not easily done by humans – such as using “complex curving walls.”

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Comments on “Print Your Own House”

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dorpus says:

Outdated aesthetics

20th century students of culture have probably heard long and obnoxious lectures about how curved walls can only be done by hand, and modern buildings that have square walls are so “sterile”. This will put a challenge on existing “architectural wonders” to impress future audiences for whom curved walls are ho hum.

Anonymous Coward says:

No Subject Given

Sounds like it takes care of the construction step known as “Framing to weather tight” – which is about 20% of constructing a single family detached home. Foundation/(auto-framing)/Plumbing/electrical/fixtures/millwork/paint/carpet/on and on… still labor intense.

So, good progress, but it’s not like it’s going to disrupt the building industry all that much; even widespread use would shift construction’s labor pool ever so slightly in skillset category.

martin g (user link) says:

3-D plans.

That?s a laugh ! Straight from architects plans ? In your dreams!
Here?s how it works. All the plans are full to the brim with errors. ( I?m talking world famous architectural practices here ) The construction companies rely on the errors ? because it?s them that sort them out on site ? thus allowing them to up their charges considerably.
I once asked a multimillionaire London based property developer why he put up with such dross from the architects, he said
? Well, they?re only plans dear boy ? in other words ? hopeful ideas? rather than schematics.
Nine times out of ten times the plans are actually drawn up by ?just out of college? interns on peanut wages. If you feed the average Autocad or Microstation plans into a 3-D printer you?ll get a concrete splodge with some metal bits poking out.

OldYeller says:

might be useful

If this can be made cost-effective, I think this would be a great tool for rebuilding ‘triage’ housing in disaster zones. When earthquakes take out housing for thousands in undeveloped areas, these units could work 24×7 to put up very simple structures that have to last a while.

Scarce human labor could then be applying their skills to the fit-out, or to more complex public-use buildings like hospitals, schools, etc.

Anonymous Coward says:


I don’t understand how you can build a structure ENTIRELY out of concrete with no reinforcement of any kind. I am not in the construction industry, but im pretty sure that wouldn’t withstand much (Tornado, Earthquake etc).

And for that matter, how would the concrete dry fast enough such that by the time you get to the roof, the base could withstand the weight.

Seems like an idea some janitor came up with based on the paper 3d modeling news stories and decided to form his own company.

data64 says:

Re: Reinforcing?

And for that matter, how would the concrete dry fast enough such that by the time you get to the roof, the base could withstand the weight.

Maybe the robot huffs and puffs at it to get it to dry quickly.
Seriouly, it does sound like they are using load bearing walls which I thought went out decades ago( unless you consider log cabins)

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