Giant 3D Printer Builds Homes in 20 Hours

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Tab54o

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I think earth bag homes are the best. unskilled labor, cheap materials and stronger than standard stick built homes.

Im guessing that cost of using or renting or having someone operate or set that machine up is going to cost a grip.
 

3ddraft

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[citation][nom]spookyman[/nom]Why? They can put a manufactured home together in less the 20 hours.[/citation]

Manufactured homes are limited by the capacity of the transportation to site. This would allow the machinery to be transported to the site in minimum dimensions and then build the size of home needed.
 

CaedenV

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[citation][nom]shin0bi272[/nom]nowhere does it explain even on their website how they plan on placing a layer of concrete vertically on top of several others while wet and expect it to stand on its own. See when cement is wet it has the compression strength of mud and doesnt like to stand up in a column without a form to hold it there. Partially dried cement doesnt stick to other cement very well and that's not good when youre looking to build a home out of the stuff. Their site makes mention of using piezo electric actuators and ceramics but im pretty sure a ceramic house wont be very sturdy in a hurricane or tornado. The idea might work if you took this rig and enclosed it in a huge tub and filled that tub with resin and used a laser to heat up the resin like in a normal 3d printer. But as its designed now its a nice pipe dream but no it wont work for a home.[/citation]
Actually, if you were to watch the video, you would see that they show it printing cement live and it works quite well. They are not using normal concrete, it is a very dense/dry material that has a lot of fiber material (not sure if this is plant fiber like cardboard, or like spun glass used in fiberglass) which helps the unit keep shape while it cures.
[citation][nom]dark_knight33[/nom]You can't "print" wiring & plumbing. I understand the concept, but it just doesn't work that way. Even if you could get the copper molten enough to flow, it's not going to just "stick" to the previous layer like resin does. To bond metal, both ends have to be hot, and pressure applied. Assuming you used pvc for the plumbing and could effectively print that, there is still no suitable substitute for #10/#12 copper used to wire homes today.The idea is essentially the same thing as thinking you can fly by strapping on a giant pair of wings to your arms and jumping off a cliff. Might look like cool if you've never heard of it before, but in practice it's just ridiculous.[/citation]
Again, if you watch the video, they do not propose that you 'print' things like wiring and plumbing, but that everything be modular and in smaller pieces so that you can print a few layers of home, and then add a section of pipe, and then print some more, and then lay a little more pipe again.
[citation][nom]A Bad Day[/nom]A possible faster way: Build per-fabricated material, then have the 3D printer put them together.[/citation]
That would not be much different from today's pre-fab homes. I think the idea of this printer is not only to make for cheaper homes, but to make them stronger in areas where there are more dangers of seismic activity where a pre-fab home would simply fall apart. Another part of the reasoning is that a crew could set up 3-4 of these machines at a construction site and let them do their thing, and it would be far easier to bring in supplies on tight 3rd world roads, where it would be impossible to truck in a 'doubble-wide' trailer to set up. You may have to air-lift the construction units to the site, but over-all it would be much more convenient to do things this way than to truck in, say, 2000 mobile-homes.
 

CaedenV

Splendid
Just thinking out loud, but I have worked down in Mexico on a few different missions trips to help build homes (like Frasier Crane, they were kind enough to let me watch the paint dry as I am relatively useless on a construction site lol).
But let's say you are working on a hillside trying to do ~1000 homes to replace a small shanty-town. Using non-profit labor and a team of ~30 people we put up ~3 homes per day (really it is more like 6 homes every 2 days), and that was with 8-10 hour days. Granted, there was no plumbing in the homes, and someone had come by long before to lay the foundations for each site so that the foundation was cured before we started our project (something that I imagine would have to be done even for these new printed homes).
When you break it down, that is 5 people and ~20 hours per home (again, not including foundation time), and while we were not paid, we were given shelter and food for the week we were there. Add to that the cost of flying/driving down which some of us paid for out of pocket, while others had to fund raise for. I am going to go out on a limb with a (very) rough estimate and say that it cost ~$4000 per person for the week.
That means $4000x5people/3houses= ~$6000 in labor costs per house (again, not including foundation work)

With this new system I would imagine you would need 2 people (skilled paid labor) per machine to keep them fed and fix any automation issues that arise. Plus astronomical machine costs up front. I would find it hard to see this actuially lowering the over-all labor costs. It may make a better house, but I am not sure that it would be cheaper.
 

alidan

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[citation][nom]inerax[/nom]Wow.... wonder if this would lower the price of a home. Would the machine cost the same as labor?[/citation]

the machine up front has a far higher cost, but over time, far lower. im assuming that the cost of a 3d printer doenst scale the same for the smaller ones. where its about 1000$ for a basic home one, but one that could produce a home would cost 100000000, im assuming that the basics of it, like all the hardware to program it and such is a flat cost, but the scale and size is bigger... god im not explaining that well.

[citation][nom]Netherscourge[/nom]You probably need "labor" just to set the machine itself up on the empty lot where the house is going to be "printed".And then it needs to be disassembled and removed once finished.[/citation]

our house took 3 or so months to be built, im willing to be money that setting this up takes less than 3 days and it will print in 20 hours.

[citation][nom]Cazalan[/nom]Houses aren't expensive today because of their innate value. It's because of greedy banks and deregulation. CDS/CDOs. That's what caused the housing bubble. They're still 100% over valued and it's crushing the middle class.[/citation]

no houses are expensive, i would never call a 100k + investment cheap, and thats before the loan.

[citation][nom]dark_knight33[/nom]You can't "print" wiring & plumbing. I understand the concept, but it just doesn't work that way. Even if you could get the copper molten enough to flow, it's not going to just "stick" to the previous layer like resin does. To bond metal, both ends have to be hot, and pressure applied. Assuming you used pvc for the plumbing and could effectively print that, there is still no suitable substitute for #10/#12 copper used to wire homes today.The idea is essentially the same thing as thinking you can fly by strapping on a giant pair of wings to your arms and jumping off a cliff. Might look like cool if you've never heard of it before, but in practice it's just ridiculous.[/citation]

lets see here, for the toilet we have pvc, and for the drains in our home, for the rest, we have copper pipe in the basement that comes up through the floor, and none of it into the walls if it has any other option. for the wiring, we have holes in the wood in the basement that snakes wires to various places, and we also have one big one that also goes into the walls for power mostly. if you modify that so you only need to put it in places that are right by the holes in the wall, you can easily snake the wires up. and if the isolation that the material gives isn't good enough, i know of spray isolation that stays a liquid for a while and foams up and out.

for bathroom ventalation, cut into the material, and snake the vents that way.

all in all, you get a very cheap way to build 90% of the house, and if the skilled trades do the work same day as the building, than damn, you got most of it done in 20/4 hours.

also, if you model the home in 3d first, you could make pre fabricated parts for the house, and build it on top of them, because every home will be the same, no need to change the layout.
 

Cazalan

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The technology of pre-fabricated modular homes is significantly more advanced than this. That could be scaled back to make cheaper homes with basic wiring/plumbing.

Why move all this heavy machinery around when you could just transport the final product in a couple pieces and assemble them like lego blocks.

This "printer" would also be outside 100% of the time and have to fight weathering, where the modular homes are built in a large warehouse. The machinery doesn't get rained on and corroded.
 
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Al_frick: High rent is a good thing. I'm happy to pay exorbitant rent. As a matter of fact, I'm even considering moving to New York, and specifically Manhattan because of the high rent.

Why, you ask? Cheap housing = ghetto people = crime = nobody wanting to live there. If Manhattan rent cost the same as Harlem, all of the idiots from Harlem, Philadelphia and Jersey would move there, then the respectable people would have to find somewhere else with high rent to get away from the idiots.

Then there's the opposite end of the spectrum, rural Americans. There is nothing fun, exciting, or awesome about living in the middle of nowhere, hence housing is so cheap out there. Us big city people have to earn $200k/yr and pay all sorts of taxes so you can have things like roads, electricity and cell phones, then most rural Americans, depite the fact that they will never pay as much taxes as they take in just to live out there, are the ones acting like they have any right to care about welfare spending. If you live out in the country, and you're not farming or mining, then you're just a leach, period. Then again, most think it's a basic human right to consume 12 gallons of gasoline in their truck to go the grocery store, and that it's unfair for gas prices to ever be high. Meanwhile, the geniuses living in Manhattan all make $100k/yr+ and have barely any need for gasoline, much less they should care whether it's $1/gallon or $10/gallon.
 

Kami3k

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[citation][nom]Netherscourge[/nom]I'm sure labor unions will picket these machines and throw stuff at them and scream profanities at them.Even though the machines can do more in 20 hours than a whole team of construction workers can do in a week.And the machine won't demand pay increases 24 hours after signing the building contract.[/citation]


Right winged idiot spotted.
 

deksman

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[citation][nom]leo2kp[/nom]Convenience will keep costs high, of course.[/citation]

Incorrect.
This is a self-assembling robot, and doesn't do just the house shell, but also the plumbing and electrical wiring (along with power sockets).
Minimal human interaction is needed (only perhaps at the beginning so they can tow it to a location, and in the end when the thing is ready to depart)

Also, this invention dates back to 2007 (when it first debuted).
Old news really since 3d printing existed for about 30 years and contour crafting techniques are nothing new from a technological point of view.


 

deksman

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My apologies 'leo2kp'
I wasn't responding to you. For some reason the post I quoted never showed up after I posted the reply.

I do agree with your notion that for 'convenience' sake, the 'costs' will be kept high.

I am so sick of this garbage we live in. Instead of using technology to liberate us from menial tasks, it is implemented sparingly and only to the benefit of those who can 'afford' it in the first place.

We have more than enough resources and technology to automate close to 90% of the global workforce.
Of course, there is never enough 'money' though, but money stopped representing phisical resources over 90 years ago (which was when Humanity reached a point in creating abundance in material goods, energy, service, etc. through technology).

Money is meaningless, and assigning 'value' only works in a scarcity environment - not in an environment where technology creates abundance daily (which is what we had for decades).
 
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This concept is not very feasible. Making the home out of pre-fab parts makes much more sense. Making a machine that can print all the parts of a home and allow trades to install code rated components is going to both negate and complicate the benefits of the printing process.

What people misunderstand is that 3d printers are for rapid prototyping only (Rapid as in it can take days to make one part) and short run production. Once you have a part designed actual high volume manufacturing can turn out parts in the millions per day. Creating pre-fab sections would both be cheaper, easier, safer, faster, etc... and is already being done today in varying degrees.

Concrete printing is slow and it will place serve restrictions on room dimensions as it cannot place rebar into the slabs (How do they even print the second floor or roof structure) piping and wiring has to use rated materials and can't just be made out of concrete. There will likely need to be just as many contractors do do the windows, doors, wiring, plumbing, running of the machine with countless interruptions for weather, part installations, etc...

Contrary to what you think 3d printers are not some magical self maintained system. The machine will need components to be replaced, lubrication, calibration done at every job site. Not to mention the same heavy equipment that takes the machine to the places in prefab sections could be taking the houses prefab sections and omit the need for a 3d printer. If anything the factory could easily have a "3d printer" instead of brining it out directly onsite. In the same time it takes to assemble, test, calibrate the house sized 3d printer you could assemble, test, certify a prefab component based house.
 
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I believe a man named R.G. LeTourneau did this with concrete houses almost 50 years ago.
 

madjimms

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[citation][nom]mr_tuel[/nom]A lot of construction workers will lose their jobs if this comes to fruition at a big enough scale. We can't use robots for everything, what will WE do for a living then? Have fun trying to remodel a home with concrete walls. This will make sense for low-cost or low-income housing, where the durability and low cost of concrete makes more sense. I will still buy or build a wood-frame home since that is what I like. Surely plenty of home-buyers will feel the same way.[/citation]
I hate wooden framed homes.... I want either steel frame or concrete....
 

deksman

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[citation][nom]mr_tuel[/nom]A lot of construction workers will lose their jobs if this comes to fruition at a big enough scale. We can't use robots for everything, what will WE do for a living then? Have fun trying to remodel a home with concrete walls. This will make sense for low-cost or low-income housing, where the durability and low cost of concrete makes more sense. I will still buy or build a wood-frame home since that is what I like. Surely plenty of home-buyers will feel the same way.[/citation]

Such a limited perception.
We can use automation NOW to free ourselves from menial/repetitive work.
As for what will we do in a world where robots do everything... we re-educate ourselves to become problem solvers.
We eliminate money and focus or resources, technology and sustainability.
We can have a whole population made up of renaissance men which would propel our technology to levels where you never dreamed of before.
We can basically go explore the world, do whatever we desire without the stupidity of worrying whether or not you have enough to live, or a roof over your head (these things have been a non issue for over 100 years actually since we had the ability to produce them in abundance with technology).

I find people's lack of ability to picture a world without 'money' to be worrying.
Are you THAT desperate to keep up a socio-economic system that's fundamentally unsustainable and is forcing us to live by fighting against each other for scraps with technological obscurity (using 'cheap', old and inefficient materials/means of production instead the best that is possible from a technological point of view and efficiency?)?

As for wood-frame home...
Lol... if you want to live in a structure that is inefficient, fragile and NOT weather proof, and fundamentally means unsustainable in the long run... fine, no one will stop you, but people who are exposed to relevant general education won't cling to inefficiency.
You could also use synthetic wood instead of 'real' one and have it with properties superior to that of regular wood - which at the very least would be sustainable since we can make synthetic materials in abundance (and to last).
 

d_kuhn

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Wow son you've got a lot to learn, I'm pretty sure every single statement you made is incredibly, impressively... well... WRONG.

I'm all for automation (it's how I make my living) but a world where all menial tasks are done for us would be a world that is not able to support billions of people. Many people can't just 'reeducate' themselves to become a skilled worker, and even if they could there wouldn't be the jobs. The 'efficiency' in automation comes from labor elimination.

A world without money is a nice dream... but if there wasn't money there would be some other way to keep score and the problems would be exactly the same. The problem with eliminating keeping score is the reason pure socialism doesn't work (there are also reasons why pure capitalism doesn't work... but your utopia is clearly socialist). People aren't ants or bees, we don't all grind along doing our bit for the greater good without worrying about what's in it for us. As individuals, we need to see that our effort (or lack thereof) has meaning/repurcussions. It's not logical to expect high achieving humans to work endlesslesy so low achieving ones can loaf endlessly.

The Socio-economic system doesn't force humans to fight each other, NATURE forces all creatures to fight for survival - the systems we live in are reflections of the realities of this world... we live in conflict... and we are highly optimised to excel in an environment where we're pushed to achive. To try to create a world where we all have the same, live the same, think the same (which is what would be required to achieve a Socialist utopia) would require the other thing that the most radical Socialist thinkers have understood... cleansing of the undesireable components of the population. All the wars in history have resulted in FAR fewer deaths than can be attributed to the pursuit of this illusion.

Finally... wood frame construction unsustainable? My dog where do you get your misinformation? Wood is one of the ONLY sustainable construction materials that exist. Timber is a renewable resource when properly managed, wood has structural, envrionmental, and economic advantages that make it nearly ideally suited for small site construction. Composite materials are made with PLASTIC... in what world do you envision petrolium based products being more sustainable than natural ones?

Housing made with wood can with proper maintenance last hundreds of years. Right now I'm travelling for work... staying in a hotel, wood framed, built in the early 1800's. Renewable resources are the ONLY hope we have for long term survival as a species, and wood is one of the keystone products we'll need to manage to do it.
 

deksman

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Your 'reasoning' stems from a socio-economic system that basically 'romanticizes' the notion that there is such a thing as 'human nature' (which is inherently a myth, thoroughly not supported by science).
There is such a thing as 'human behavior'- which can be altered - because if it couldn't, we'd still be living in cave.

As for re-education... I never meant it in a capacity that you have to force people to do it to be of 'worth' to society so they could 'earn a living'.
For one thing... over 80% of jobs in the world today are completely USELESS to society at large (while numerous people who do such useless jobs are considered the most 'successful').

I meant it in a capacity that basically allows people to pursue things that inherently interests them, without the pressures of competition (instead, its replaced with cooperation) and similar inefficiencies that kill oh so many people's futures'.
We have more than enough resources and technology to make it happen.
The current system has been choking us to death and instilling stupidity into the general population is something we allowed to happen for far too long.

A world without money is hardly a fantasy... its a realistic possibility that depends on a global change in how we go about things.
But in order for such a 'paradigm shift' to occur, the general population needs to be exposed to relevant general education (not industrialized academic education).

Creating a system of access abundance and user-ship (instead of ownership) is not so difficult - and it has nothing to do with socialism, communism, fascism, capitalism or any other 'ism' - for one thing, ALL of the 'isms' I just mentioned are socio-economic systems based on MONEY - a resource based economy on the other hand is NOT.

We had the ability to produce superior synthetic materials in abundance for over 100 years (ever since we perfected recycling technology in the late 19th century, giving us the ability to break matter down into base elements and reconstitute it into something else, or into alternative energy sources).

The landfills we have on this planet contain more than enough in terms of raw resources that can be used to create abundance in practically everything, ranging from industry all down to each individual on the planet several times over.
The fact we currently recycle less than 10% globally is a problem rooted in Capitalism that does thing from a 'cost effective' point of view.

Continuously using humans in labor intense jobs only SLOWS things down.
A machine can do the work hundreds/thousands of times better with higher quality and speed without needing rest, pension, healthcare, etc.
Oh and we had the ability to create technology and materials that are not only of high quality, but can last a lifetime and require minimum to no maintenance.

We keep using outdated technology, materials and means of production because its PROFITABLE... even though we had the ability to switch to far better alternatives a LONG time ago.
The only reason its not being done so is because its more often than not 'cost prohibitive' (which means its possible to do from a resource/technological point of view in abundance, just very prohibitive from a monetary point of view).


Look at how much technology is advancing NOW with only a tiny fraction of the population being in science.
Now imagine if we exposed EVERY person from a young age to relevant general education (all subjects relating to man, informing them of what actually matters comparing to filling their heads with stupidity as we do now, prompting people to be problem solvers, to think in a critical capacity) and creating a society where EVERYONE can actually contribute in one way or another (you know... an actual democracy [or at least VERY close to it] - as opposed to the illusion of one we live in now)

Our environment has a HUGE impact into how we turn out later in life.
Change the environment and you can change human behavior.
Genetics play a relatively minor part - which is something that people today seem to put the blame on on an ever increasing basis (because it provides leverage to escape responsibility - it doesn't also help the premise that we don't live in a system that actually helps people to change their lives).

 

deksman

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Oh and... in case you hadn't noticed... corporations and industry at large (basically everything) are increasingly automated with humans only serving in positions of maintenance and overseeing technology.
Nevermind the fact we had the ability to automate large % of the workforce decades ago (because we CAN create more than enough of technology from superior synthetic materials in abundance),... since we still live in a monetary based economy, companies transition to automation in a 'cheap' (or monetarily affordable) manner.

In the end, humans cannot compete with machines and you will end up living in a world where most of the population is out of work with only a few skilled people still employed.
No one is 'irreplaceable'.
You have millions of algorithms running on servers today, learning things that we have yet to learn - and its easier and faster to program a computer/robot to do a specialized task than a human that requires years of training.

For that matter, if you hadn't noticed, increasing number of people with university degrees is ALSO out of work.

Monetary based economics stopped working when the first great depression set in because back then, majority of people lost jobs because of automation/mechanization - only this time, there is no 'bouncing back' because we have computers and robots that can automate anything and anyone.

Ignoring that technological reality is to live in a world of past (and I have 0 inclinations to condemn humanity by turning back the clock).
We have the ability to LIBERATE humans from the necessities of 'work'.
Money is NOT the only incentive for people to work (its only good incentive for repetitive/mind numbing tasks).
I volunteer my time, skills and ideas to work completely free of charge without any compensation of any kind - as do millions (dare I say, billions) of others.

d_kuhn
While I will agree that there are many things for me to learn, I am at the same time aware of what we were capable of from doing technologically a century ago (let alone today).
Social evolution on the other hand has been less than stellar - and that much is to blame only on humanity because the people in power and those who have been conditioned, continue to perpetuate an existing (non-sustainable) system.

Renewable sources of energy and materials were in existence for over 100 years... our inherent fixation on 'money' however keeps preventing us from implementing them on a full scale.
Why do you think we currently use inefficient materials/means of production to make existing technology?
Because its profitable.
We had numerous technological breakthroughs that were patented almost 2 decades ago that would allow us to create FAR better technologies than what we presently use.
The current system is fixated on 'profits'... not technological efficiency (if it were, then we wouldn't be using silicon in computers because its inherently inefficient and outdated for some time now).

We had more than enough resources and technology to transition completely to mag-lev trains back in 1974, and create a network of vacuumed mag-lev trains that for trans-continental trips) - but it wasn't done because its 'too expensive' from a monetary point of view.
However, from a point of view of resources/technology, we had (and still do) more than enough to make it happen (and no, I'm not referring to extraction of new resources from earth, but using landfills to synthesize necessary materials in abundance - which we'd be able to do by orders of magnitude).

 

nebun

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[citation][nom]inerax[/nom]Wow.... wonder if this would lower the price of a home. Would the machine cost the same as labor?[/citation]
most likely the cost of home will be the same only because of greed...
 

JonnyDough

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It would have to be pretty smooth concrete. This is going to be built layer upon layer like ink that takes merely seconds to dry. Obviously, it's going to have to use some pretty exact recipes for the materials used, and it will also take awhile to get the machine set up. I can imagine hoppers nearing empty with tubes leading to the top of the printer, and an electronic notification to a cell phone to signal that more "ink" is needed.
 
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