So, this has been one of my favorite topics of conversation related to 3D printing for a while… yet I don’t think I’ve ever discussed it here on my blog. Go figure.
Anyway, in recent years multiple companies have been pursuing making 3D printers that use concrete to print custom houses. Using 3D printing techniques, houses can theoretically be built quickly, inexpensively, and incorporate shapes (especially curves) that would be difficult and/or expensive to build using traditional methods.
Here’s one that I always liked looking at as kind of a touchstone:
A company called Apis Cor, a collaboration between US and Russian businesses, built a tiny house with a fraction the time of a similarly sized house. Less than $11,000 worth of materials, the house was printed and fitted out within a day, as compared to spending months to build a do it yourself house for a similar price.
This kind of speed and customization gives me all sorts of ideas for what could be done with housing in the future, though I’d rather not share some of them here (I can’t give away all my ideas for free)! I’d love to own/run a company that uses these machines to build custom homes for people, though I don’t see that happening anytime soon.
I’m hoping that by the time I get around to build a house of my own one day, that I’ll be able to get one of these 3D printers to come in, if only to make a cool workshop (I doubt I’d be allowed to build the house that way). What I’d really like to do is have one of these printers of my own, and when it’s not being used to print houses for other people, print a bunch of test designs on a large plot of land. I’d see what kinds of crazy structures I could make, and maybe get people to use the property as a location for some scifi shows!
For further reading, here are a few links to articles on the subject of 3D printed concrete homes: