The emergence of 3D printing technology opened up a whole new chapter in the world of manufacturing, allowing users to turn any digital file into a three dimensional physical product. By using a 3D printer, one can manufacture just about any little object that may pop into one’s mind. But can it also be used to create large-scale items, such as a house, for example?
According to the blog post on PTC, a company called Contour Crafting is working towards translating this futuristic idea into reality.
Behrokh Khoshnevis of the University of Southern California has developed a contour crafter- a 3D printing robot, capable of fabricating large-scale parts quickly in a layer-by-layer method.
Instead of using thermoplastics, the robot layers concrete to create walls based on an architect’s design. The crane-like robot reinforces the walls as it builds and leaves spaces for things like plumbing and electric installation. After the construction process is completed, construction workers come in to finish up details such as hanging doors and putting up windows.
The company says a wall created by the 3D printer has 10,000 PSI (pounds per square inch) strength, significantly more than that of the regularly constructed walls, which average 3, 000 PSI.
What’s even more astonishing is the fact that Dr Khoshnevis and his team claim the machine can build a 2,500 square-foot house in less than 24 hours. This would not only cut short the construction process for an incredible amount of time, but would also save on cost.
Could this technology revolutionize the construction industry? The people in Contour Crafting are confident they are on the right path to do just that and deliver a home to millions around the globe who have been displaced by natural disasters and war.