Automated construction

3D printing might one day help solve the world’s shelter crises.

Nearly 1 billion people in the world don’t have access to adequate shelter, a situation that breeds poverty, disease, illiteracy, crime and overpopulation. To address this problem, Behrokh Khoshnevis is developing a process called  Contour Crafting to use 3D printing technology to build entire houses.

Khoshnevis and his team are creating a 3D printer that can build a 230m² house (the size of a standard row house including a garden) in as little as 20 hours. The machine could even do the electrical work, plumbing, tiling and painting. The buildings don’t even have to be linear. To make the buildings structurally sound as well as beautiful, the 3D printer can print curves.

Contour Crafting will save the construction 20 percent to 25 percent in financing and 25 percent to 30 percent in materials. The biggest savings would come in labor, where Contour Crafting would save 45 percent to 55 percent by using 3D printers instead of humans. There would also be fewer CO2 emissions and less energy used.

The ultimate goal of the project is to quickly, safely and more efficiently produce entire neighborhoods in impoverished areas.


2 thoughts on “Automated construction

  1. This is the first time I hear about the idea of 3D printing a house. Imagine that you can just download the cad/cam file of your dream house in the future and the 3D printer starts to build it. I think that this kind of technology is mainly interesting when it comes to building structures at places we can’t come. And then I’m not only talking about the moon, but also here at earth. At tsjernobyl and fukushima for example, that we can print somehow a big sargophage to encamsulate the radioactive parts.

  2. By combining this with another post made in this blog about the interview to Bill Gates, where he talks about the impact that software substitution will have on lower skill jobs, don’t you think that having a 3D printer that can make a house will also decrease the work force of those working on the construction industry (mid-high skills)? and what impact can that have in the long term. What do you think?

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