3D Printing Homes
I’ve written about 3d printing houses before (in space, actually — x), but I’m psyched seeing the developments, such as one company in China printing large pieces of houses with a good amount of recycled material and only costing $5,000 for a simple home! Not to mention the pace at which they work, apparently printing 10 homes in one day using four printers!
Really huge part of this will be the ability to not just print homes inexpensively and quickly, but to customize them as well, and of course accounting for plumbing and electrical needs. Imagine printing your dream castle instead of a typical suburban home, and the only additional cost is the extra print time and material.
People living in impoverished areas or suffering from a natural disaster have the most to gain from this, but it also has implications for far out ideas like space colonization.
And another benefit is that it could potentially have drastic reductions on the amount of waste produced compared to typical construction projects. This is actually a really big deal. As I quoted in an article awhile ago (about a robot that recycles construction waste — x), ‘some experts believe that construction waste accounts for up to half of all landfill material’. The material used in these 3D printers may also be easier to recycle, or even use sustainable and biodegradable materials, like the bioplastic being used in the “3D Print Canal House” project.
The only downside is the huge hit the construction industry will suffer, as well as its nearly 1.3 million person work force (x). An unfortunate theme we have to consider as automation steadily disrupts our current worker paradigms.
What proportion of the former human labor is cut out of the equation? How many builders will lose their jobs?