Monday, April 7, 2014

3D printed houses for only $5,000???

I'm amazed to read that a Chinese company is producing simple cement prefabricated homes by what's claimed to be a 3D printing method, for the equivalent of less than $5,000 apiece.  They may not look like much to eyes used to American suburban homes, but to many in poorer countries they'll be paradise compared to a mud hut or tin-and-cardboard shack.

The company claims the technology can be scaled to produce multi-level homes in less than a day.

You can read more about it here.  If this can be made to work economically on a large scale, it might revolutionize housing construction throughout the world.  For that matter, it might do the same to typical US frame-and-siding construction techniques.  I'd love to be able to put up a small but comfortable home for less than a tenth of modern construction costs - and if it's made of concrete, I'm willing to bet it'll be more resistant to hurricanes and tornadoes than what we're living in right now!



Well Seasoned Fool said...

First obstacle? Building codes, and the whole community of those writing and enforcing them.

Anonymous said...

They were used in Venezuela. Chavez brought them to provide for cheap housing for the poor.
They last about a year before starting to disintegrate...literally.

drjim said...

Make them from something other than Chinese concrete, and they might last longer!

Anonymous said...

"they might last longer"

Yes. Google: Edison concrete house

Beaner49 said...

Did you happen to notice the DATE of that article....?

Inconsiderate Bastard said...

Take a look at "tip-up" concrete construction. I've wondered why that isn't used more frequently for "economy housing" espscially for the 2nd and 3rd world.

Concrete wall panels, with standardized sizes, some solid, some with openings for doors and windows, conduit for wiring inside the walls, craned into place and secured to a poured on-site slab, would seem to be a simple and relatively inexpensive means of building houses.

There's a 5-story residential building im Miami that was built using a French-invented method of pouring concrete on-site; the building went up one level per day, with uniform apartment sizes. Can't remember the name, but I got a VHS tape 25 years ago from one of the concrete industry lobbying outfits in DC that showed the technique. Seemed fast and simple.