Imagine a world where you have the power to create anything and everything that you want. The possibility of doing the same may not be just fiction anymore as 3D printers are your modern-day magic pencils. They enable you to turn your imagination into reality. Starting with small objects like a cup, 3D printing technology has matured enough that we can now use it in architecture. One such famous piece was the 3D printed bridge in Madrid.
Apis Cor, A 3D printing company has collaborated with PIK, a development firm, and showcased a portable 3D printer capable of building the core infrastructure of a house. The company erected a prototype house of 38 square meters (409 square feet) in about 24 hours in Russia. The structure was big enough to accommodate one or two people and was made slightly circular, to demonstrate the versatility of the technology.
The house was small, and it came at a lower price than conventional construction methods. The 3D printer, resembling a small crane, uses the same additive manufacturing method. It releases cement out of a nozzle in layer after layer, thus creating a structure. The structure costs $10,134 excluding furniture and appliances. The 3D printer, however, only created the structure whereas humans later added other components like windows, roof, and insulation.
This house is not the first 3D printed housing project, but it is unique as it was the first one to have been built entirely on site with just one portable printer. A building in China, an office in Dubai, and even a castle was constructed using 3D printing, but all of these projects were not built on the site. Either very large and multiple units of 3D printers were used, or individual pieces were manufactured in a factory and then transported to the construction site.
The Apis Cor’s project used a portable printer that weighed only 2 tons ( 1814 kg) which can easily be transported to the construction site on a truck. The crane-like printer has a height of 3.1 meters (10 feet) and a length of 5 meters (16.4 feet) at maximum. The printer is even available for sale and rent.
The technology is exciting for many construction firms, but not so much for the laborers looking for a small job, because this technology just might replace them.
Watch the printer in action.