In the last few years, 3D printing has been subject to the rollercoaster effect, having gone from being relatively unknown to suddenly being touted as a revolutionary technology, and then fading from the spotlight as the current technological limitations became more widely understood.
But that may soon change, especially given the recent news that a company managed to 3D print an entire house in a mere 24 hours. The home in Russia measures 400-square feet and cost just over $10,000 t0 construct.
The company behind the home, Apis Cor, consists of 3D printing specialists based in Russia and San Francisco. The team built the house using a mobile printer on-site. The company noted that the walls of the building were printed and painted in a day.
Such news is likely enticing to people who want to build a home without spending a fortune in both time and money. Such an innovation makes it possible for homes to be built in remarkably short notice, and in places once unimaginable.
Apis’ approach to 3D printing is especially unique because, unlike the usual process where parts are created off-site and constructed later, Apis Cor uses a mobile printer to print their apartments on-site. For example, the world’s first 3-D printed apartment building was constructed in China, but the building was printed off-site.
As if the process seems hassle free as is, the Apis technique eliminates the need to transfer the printed blocks, making it even more revolutionary than 3-D printing a home itself.
“Printing of self-bearing walls, partitions and building envelope were done in less than a day: pure machine time of printing amounted to 24 hours,” explained the company.
To print the house — everything from the walls, partitions, and building envelope — a concrete mixture is used. Once the house is finished, they remove the printer with a crane-manipulator and add on the roof, then the interior fixtures and furnishings, and finally a layer of paint to the exterior of the house.
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The house, which Apis Cor claims can last up to 175 years, is complete with a hallway, bathroom, living room, and kitchen. The structure resides in one of Apis Cor’s facilities in Russia.
“When I first thought about creating my machine the world has already knew about the construction 3D printing,” Nikita Chen-yun-tai, the inventor of the mobile printer and founder of Apis Cor, explained. “But all printers created before shared one thing in common – they were portal type. I am sure that such a design doesn’t; have a future due to its bulkiness. So I took care of this limitation and decided to upgrade a construction crane design.”
“We want to help people around the world to improve their living conditions. That’s why the construction process needs to become fast, efficient and high-quality as well. For this to happen we need to delegate all the hard work to smart machines.”
The company says it is the first one to have created a 3D printer that can print entire buildings on-site, which could certainly be a game changer in the hype surrounding 3D printing. Though the technology is still very new, there is promise that Apis Cor and its competitors will change the face of real estate from costing hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars, to making cheap and accessible homes for millions.
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