AUSTRALIANS may soon be living in 3D printed houses with the technology now available to make this a reality.
Dr Hank Haeusler, senior architecture lecturer at the University of NSW, said building a 3D printed house was technically possible but the key was finding the right client, developer and builders to construct a property.
“I think it is definitely going to happen … I think in five to 10 years we will see more and more 3D printed housing construction and nodes,” Dr Haeusler told news.com.au.
He said researchers at RMIT had developed a 3D printed structural node that could be used to connect building parts, such as flat concrete walls together, and 3D printing was already being used in the manufacture of cars and planes and in other industries.
While still in an experimental stage, the capability of 3D printers to construct components of a house had been demonstrated, and architects were racing to perfect the technique.
Researchers at the University of Southern California have been developing Contour Crafting technology for more than 10 years and Professor Behrokh Khoshnevis said it was his aim to build a house from foundation to roof in less than 24 hours.
“Our goal,” he told The Age in 2003, “is to be able to completely construct a one-storey 185-square-metre home on site in one day, without using human hands.”
He hoped to develop a giant printer, able to print a whole house in a single run.
Prof Khoshnevis told news.com.au that entry level 3D printing machines for buildings would be offered for sale within the next couple of years but extensive testing was required before they could get the technology certified.
“One should realise that initially 3D printing can build the basic shell of the building. There is much more that goes into a house,” Prof Khoshnevis said.
He said realistically, 3D printing could make building a traditional home about 10 per cent cheaper. But for simple houses, such as low income or emergency shelters, the savings could be much higher.