3D Printed Houses

3D concrete printing is developing rapidly and relies on different technologies and materials, offering many benefits to its users. This Trend Card email includes links to three 2018 articles about the future of printed buildings and housing. Make sure to look at some of the photos, and you might be amazed at what these buildings/houses look like!

In a single day, Chinese company Winsun used a 3D printer to manufacture 10 small single-family homes. Later, the same company 3D-printed a five-story apartment building. Winsun’s most recent accomplishment is an elegantly decorated 11,840 square foot mansion, built by an eight-person team in just 30 days, at a total cost of just $161,000.

In Austin, Texas, the construction technology company, Icon, at the South by Southwest Festival unveiled a 650 square foot, one bedroom house, printed in less than a day for under $10,000. With a global housing crisis that will, if unchecked, force about 1.6 billion people into inadequate shelter by 2025, 3D printing offers a glimpse of a solution – not least because the houses unveiled in Austin are pleasant to look at and are buildings you might actually want to live in. Icon has announced that it has partnered with a homelessness charity, New Story, to construct a development of 100 of its 3D printed homes in El Salvador next year. By that point, Icon hopes to have brought the unit cost of each house down to just $4,000.

From the first printed house in Shanghai almost four years ago, to the Office of The Future constructed at the foot of the Emirates Towers in Dubai in 2016, each announcement is met with collective amazement that construction on that scale could be automated.

On the other side of the coin, a recent report from McKinsey estimates that 800 million workers will lose their jobs to robotic technology by 2030, and the construction industry will undoubtedly make a contribution. But humans will still be needed on construction sites. Robots can undertake the difficult operations and free up humans to do the less risky work.