Though 3D-printed architecture is still in its relative infancy, we're already at the point that printing a basic house is feasible. 3D-printing firm Apis Cor, in collaboration with development firm PIK, recently showed off the portable 3D printer it has developed by using it to build a basic structure of a 38-sq-m (409-sq-ft) home.
The prototype home was built in Russia starting last December (the weather was so cold they had to erect a tent to keep the cement mixture from freezing) and was just recently finished. Its roughly circular shape was chosen to highlight the tech's versatility, and though modest inside, it looks like a usable small home for one or two people.
The actual printing process took 24 hours and is very similar to the other 3D-printed architecture projects we've reported on. Put simply, the 3D printer, which looks like a small crane, extrudes cement out of a nozzle in layer after layer to create a structure.
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The machine didn't do all the work, though. The roof, insulation, windows, and other components were all added later by humans. The total cost for the project came in at just US$10,134, not including furniture or appliances.
We've already reported on a 3D-printed office, a castle, and even a Chinese firm that managed to print 10 houses in a day, but each of those projects required large 3D-printers, multiple units working together, or were printed in a factory in several individual pieces before being transported to the building site.
However, Apis Cor's project was built on-site with just one portable printer. Measuring a maximum height of 3.1 m (10 ft) and a maximum length of 5 m (16.4 ft), the printer weighs 2 tons (1,814 kg) and can be transported to a building site on the back of a truck like any other piece of heavy machinery. The firm offers its 3D-printer for sale or rent, though we've no word on how much it costs.
While impressive, the march of progress in 3D-printed architecture raises concerns for construction workers. We can't see any 3D printer replacing a skilled craftsman, but they probably will be used in place of unskilled workers for smaller jobs. Great news if you're the owner of a firm looking to save time and money, but if you're a laborer ... not so much.
Check out the video to see some more information on the project.
Source: Apis Cor