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January 28, 2014 AT 11:36 am

3D Printers the Answer to Affordable Housing?

Contour crafting

With affordable and relief housing on the brain, researchers at USC developed an enormous 3D printer capable of creating housing structures in rapid time, via mashable:

Forget waiting weeks or months for your new home to be ready. Researchers from the University of Southern California created a 3D printer that can build a 2,500 square-foot house in 24 hours.

Since 2008, Professor Behrokh Khoshnevis has led a research team in the creation and development of a new layered fabrication technology using 3D printing called Contour Crafting. Instead of using thermoplastics, a common material used in 3D printing, the robot applies layer after layer of concrete to construct straight and curved walls, as well as domes.

The process involves a giant robot with a hanging nozzle and a flexible arm on a gantry-type crane — the whole rig is known as a “contour crafter” — above the foundation. The contour crafter then proceeds to layer concrete based on a computer-generated pattern. The layers eventually take shape into walls, embedded with all the necessary conduits and passages for electricity, plumbing and air conditioning

Read more.


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5 Comments

  1. I just have to wonder if this is viable in places with earthquake standards.

  2. I notice there are lots of animations of this process, but no pictures of actual finished buildings. I think I know why. Hint: why do traditional concrete workers use molds?

  3. Like the idea. How about road bridges etc

  4. Does it print rebars? because I think most concrete houses have rebars.

  5. Not everything becomes meaningful by putting ‘3D’ in front of it. This idea is a good example.

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