We posted an article a while back about the awesome possibility of 3D food printers. A cool concept. But why stop with a meal, when you can print an entire house? What’s even more amazing is that you could make the entire thing in less than a day!
Using either concrete or adobe, deposited in layers via a movable gantry, Professor Behrokh Khoshnevis of the University of Southern California has developed a new invention that could be used to fabricate houses or other structures for living on Earth — and perhaps even on the Moon or Mars!
The system uses age-old construction techniques combined with new high-tech fabrication tools like piezo-electric actuators. As the house ‘grows’ using the Contour Crafting technique, contractors would simply add wiring, plumbing, and HVAC. This safe, affordable, and hopefully reliable technique would be perfect for use in impoverished or remote areas, as well as typical urban settings.
I can envision a luxury home (like the one seen at the top of the page) built this way. Imagine something that aesthetic and practical constructed in a matter of hours — and without the potential dangers to workers. Once established, I could see the same system implemented for larger buildings and, perhaps, even skyscrapers.
Beyond Earth, Professor Khoshnevis has already conceived the automated systems needed to place a robotic Contour Crafter on another planetary body. It could be landed and then go to work automatically to provide habitats that are primed and waiting for human adventurers to occupy them. I can’t wait to see this system in action.
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