A company says its 3D-printer will print a house. Fast and cheap.
San Francisco-based Apis Cor reported on its blog that on a cold day last December it (and a number of its partners) built an entire 400-square-foot house with its custom printer and it only cost $10,000. Oh, and it took just 24 hours to complete.
Others have claimed to have built houses with 3D printers. But what makes Apis Cor’s house unique is that it wasn’t constructed from pre-printed panels that required assembly by construction workers. The “printer” used is a giant, mobile piece of crane-like equipment that layers on cement in one continuous process, building both the internal and external structure all at once instead of in multiple parts. It’s a one-story structure but it can be constructed in just about any shape, and the company showed how it could be built in even the coldest of conditions in a YouTube video.
Contractors worrying about their jobs shouldn’t panic … yet. Once all the walls are put together, those workers are then needed to do everything else – like installing windows and the roof, plus painting, insulating and putting in appliances, according to this report in Quartz.
A finished test house that the company built with a partner in Russia is “cozy and comfortable” and includes “a hall, a bathroom, a living room and a compact functional kitchen with the most modern appliances from the Samsung company,” Apis Cor’s blog boasts.
“As you can see with the advent of new technology,” the company says in its blog post, “construction 3D printing is changing the view and approach to the construction of low-rise buildings and provides new opportunities to implement custom architectural solutions.”
The possibilities of this advancement in 3D printing are many. Houses could be quickly constructed for refugee camps, people displaced by natural disaster or for those who do not have available housing, such as the homeless. Governments could build entire communities of affordable housing at just a fraction of what’s paid today.