China was the first country in the world to produce the first 3D printed home, but they didn’t just produce one house, they printed 10 in one day, each measuring just over 2000 square feet and costing only $4,800. Architects and home builders around the globe are now racing to follow in the footsteps of their Chinese counterparts. This technological innovation is a breakthrough, but will it have deep implications for the construction industry and an impact on housing affordability and customization?
It’s impossible to think that a printer has the capability to produce a home. The 3D printers build the structures layer by layer, but the innovation doesn’t stop here. Dr. Behrokh Khoshnevis of USC California is pushing the boundaries even further with his concept of contour crafting. This process will eventually make it possible to print a whole house in one run equipped with electrical and plumbing. In terms of progress his technology is well ahead of China and he forecasts widespread usage by 2020. Khoshenevis’s technology was designed to help reduce energy use and emissions through the use of a rapid prototype or 3D printing process to fabricate large components. What makes contour crafting stand out from current technologies is the superior surface finish and the enhanced speed of fabrication.
The pros and cons
The process of 3D printing shows potential advantages when it comes to labor costs, reduced waste and quicker construction. However, like all technology it could eventually make some jobs in the industry obsolete. If the technology catches on as predicted, construction workers will need to diversify their skills or face uncertainty if they are unwilling or do not have the means. For potential homeowners, lower construction costs could make it a lot easier to buy.
Whether you’re in the market for a traditional home or thinking about building contact Landmark Title today to learn more about our services.