Want to live in a 3D Printed House? It won’t be ‘by 2050’. Not in a soon-to-be-released sci-fi movie, either. If you still think that 3D printed houses are a thing of the future, rest assured, the future is now!
Delightfully curious and extraordinarily beautiful stand 3D printed houses – some already inhabited by the daring, some still waiting to be. If you’re like us – inquisitive, with a glint in the eye for what stands before us – you won’t be disappointed.
Read on to understand how 3D printing works, how 3D printing works when it comes to houses, and to be mesmerised by the stunning structures printed thus.
The logic, the material and the output
Sauce, noodles, cheese, sauce, noodles, lots of cheese – and heavenly lasagna comes to life. This layering, to result in beauty, is exactly the logic a 3D printed house would work on.
A design of the desired structure is made using a software and thin layers of this design layer over each other till optimum width is reached.
But what are these layers made of? Ink?
Good one, but absolutely not! 3D construction printing invites you to be a little creative with your raw materials, the most common being lightweight plastic, metals, clay, earth sand, polymers and such. These materials are used in combinations and proportions – sometimes only three together, and sometimes all! Feed these to a 3D printer and, most times, you’ll find a hot paste-like substance ejecting from it. This paste then hardens and you have your construction part ready! Now, you won’t print a whole house at once, but layers and levels, like a wall, and then another, and then another. Many houses even use printed floors, and they work perfectly well. Doors and windows and such additions can not be printed right now, so they’re added separately. But because the structure can be, it saves a lot of time. And we really do mean it. 3D printed houses can be printed and ready in 24-48 hours. Hard to believe, but it’s true. And when the printing is over, the levels layered and the magic admired, the 3D printer is lifted and taken away using a crane.
Why 3D printed houses, at all?
Oh c’mon! Look at this beauty.
3D printed houses offer many more benefits than just remarkable appearance. Time efficiency, first of all. Because these houses are printed out of a printer (their structures, at least) they take way less time than building a house the old way. And because it takes such less time, construction printing also costs much lesser than the conventional house construction(think a 2,000 sq. ft house for $20,000). Another environmentally-friendly benefit is the fact that, because 3D houses use just as much material as needed – no more and no less – they reduce construction wastage by a considerable amount. The designs are also easy to alter on the computer and don’t cost much to edit. On top of that, 3D printers are smart enough to not need adult supervision! Yes, leave your design to print to go take care of something else, and your print will be ready just in time.
But don’t be so quick to judge. 3D printed houses have their own little downsides
As impeccable as they look, these houses are not all rainbows and butterflies. Firstly, you just cannot expect a 3D printed mansion yet. Because of the size of the printer chambers, 3D houses cannot occupy as big an area as we would all like. In order to make a larger house, multiple parts will have to be joined together, resulting in higher labour charge – so the aspect of low-price might be lost. Another factor that we need to keep in mind before considering a 3D printed house is the limited flexibility of the materials that can be used to build these homes. Even though plastics and metals are used, not all plastics and metals work. This can be a buzzkill for some of us who want a house a certain way and that way only. Now the serious thing to think about – because the printer prints the structure in parts and these parts have to be adhered in layers or levels – these levels can give away under certain stresses. And not everytime the very house we want can be expected: it might differ from printer to printer, because a house that looks perfect on a computer can end up looking a bit different in reality.
Now that we know the pros and cons, will 3D printed houses still flourish?
Yes. A hundred times yes. And here’s why.
The benefits a printed construction offers outweigh the things it lacks. Because of the time-efficiency, nearly zero waste and the low-cost this innovation offers, it gives NGOs and governments the opportunity of homing the homeless. Not just that, either. Printed houses offer lower rent because of the very same reasons. And due to the low price many of us stand a chance at being homeowners. 3D construction companies have come forward and, at many instances, worked with governments to make this possible.
These houses are also eco-friendly, a strong factor that will govern our consciousness decisions in the future!
Are you ready to move into one of these spectacular houses? We are!
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