It is thought that eventually 3D printing something as big as a car, or even a house, is something those of us in the developed world will all be doing. Imagine it: being able to manufacture something as big as a house yourself using a printer and some material to your exact specification - the possibilities for design limitless, bound only by your imagination.
Sounds dreamy, and yet that future may not be so far away after all.
This coming true because 3D Platform, a global leader in manufacturing large-format, industrial-strength 3D printers, has partnered with Cuz-D Industries, Inc. to manufacture a large-format 3D printer capable of fabricating a home with recycled materials.
Cuz-D Industries has conceptualised a design for a studio size home complete with basic living quarters. The home is to be built entirely using 3D printing and the first stage is developing the 3D printer capable of producing components large enough and reliably enough for the project.
The homes will be constructed using recycled materials based on plastics that used to be an environmental burden. In doing so, the project will reduce the amount of plastic in landfill and on land and in the ocean. The recycled material will be made into a 3D printable filament which when printed, has the strength and durability required for the construction of a house.
The individual components of the house (walls, foundation, etc.) will be printed in parts to a set specification and built up on site by engineers. However, because of the enhanced design flexibility 3D printing offers, different designs of home may be available in the future. Regardless, all of them will be 'mini homes' which are around the same size as a studio.
The search for a partner
Cuz-D Industries needed a 3D printing partner who could design, develop, and manufacture a 3D printer large enough and reliable enough to meet their manufacturing requirements. Current machines - even the biggest - had size limitations that made the manufacture of components impossible, at least not without splitting the manufacturing process into stages (such as making one part in two and gluing or fixing them together).
Several companies were interviewed. In the end, Cuz-D Industries chose 3D Platform because of their industry-recognised reputation for making industrial-grade large-format 3D printers.
“After looking at the various companies out there it became obvious to our entire team that 3DP would be an excellent partner," says Jake Cuzdey, President of Cuz-D Industries, Inc. "3DP is a proven company that offers scalable and creative solutions to meet our design needs, and we look forward to working with them."
Now Cuz-D Industries has a partner, the next stage of manufacturing mini homes with recycled materials is underway.
In the next few years, we expect the 3D printing of homes - including as part of this project with 3DP - to advance to a point where the manufacturing process is considered a viable means to manufacture perhaps not a full house, but part of it at least. The cost of a 3D printed house is estimated to be as little as $10,000. This incredible 3D printed building, in Dubai, cost $140,000, and some buildings can cost more depending on complexity.
Of course, the concept has some way to go before it becomes mainstream. Perhaps 3D printing will never become so normal that we can order a house, have a 3D printer delivered, and watch on as it prints our home? Or perhaps that's how DIYers will construct their own homes in the future? Whatever the future holds, it certainly sounds interesting with 3D printing leading the way.
Source: 3D Platform.