3D Printing. The Future of House Building?

October 12, 2018

A little known Russia based 3D printing specialist company called Apis Cotr broke new ground recently by offering us a glimpse into what the future of construction might look like….

Author | Paul Skuse

A little known Russia based 3D printing specialist company called Apis Cotr broke new ground recently by offering us a glimpse into what the future of construction might look like.

3D printing a home usually involves creating the parts off-site and then delivering these pieces to be constructed on site.

Apis Cotr decided to change the rules and the assembly process. By using an on-site 3D printer (on a missive scale), inch by inch, stage by stage, level by level, they moulded a concrete-like material into the shape of a house.

Apis Cotr’s machine created the whole house in one piece (minus the roof which they chose to lay by hand) in an eye-opening time and cost.

The printing of the self-bearing walls, partitions and building envelope were completed in 24 hours, costing just over $10,000 in materials and labour and can last up to 175 years.

This innovative construction company states that they use only locally sourced materials, with the printer adapting to this material, whether clay in rural areas or concrete in urban areas.

 

The Grand Vision

In the first instance, Apis Cotr now plan to use their skills and unique expertise to provide quick and affordable housing to the billions worldwide without adequate homes. A spokesman added, “The construction process needs to become fast, efficient and high-quality. For this to happen we need to delegate all the hard work to smart machines.”

Once this construction technique is proven to pass all regulatory rules, how long before we see our developments cleared of much of their labour and site machinery and replaced by only a handful of on-site specialists and experts and a field full of 3D printers?

Will this mean an extraordinary jump in GDV or transversely an extraordinary reduction in house prices? Only time and the speed of change will tell.

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