3D printing is a technology that has been around for many years. However, it is only recently that the potential of 3D printing has become apparent. 3D printers have moved beyond being able to just print three dimensions, and are now capable of printing pretty much anything. With this in mind, one team of architects has come up with a new way to use 3D printers to construct homes – instead of building them from traditional materials like wood and concrete. The firm is called New Story and they’re about to use a new type of 3D printer to build the world’s first printed-and-collated houses. Their plan? To use 3D printers to build homes from dirt at a fraction of the cost and time it takes to construct a home using traditional methods. Let’s take a look at how this will work…
3D Printed Homes: The Basics
Essentially, New Story’s 3D printed homes will work in two ways: the company will first construct partially underground modules using a combination of earth and recycled materials. The partially underground modules are then transported to their destination and finished off, with the earth and recycled materials used to fill in the gaps between the modules. The result is a fully habitable house. The modules themselves will be constructed using a combination of the latest 3D printing technology and a technique known as “contour crafting.” Contour crafting involves a robotic arm that sprays concrete and earth inside a custom-built frame. The combination of 3D printing and contour crafting will allow New Story to construct these partially underground modules with minimal human involvement.
What will New Story’s homes look like?
New Story’s 3D printed houses are expected to be made from a mixture of soil and recycled materials. This will result in houses that are much cheaper to construct than traditional homes, and that are much more environmentally friendly. There even some penthouses for sale, the dirt used to build these homes will come from excavated ground up to 100 feet beneath a given site. This dirt is expected to be rich in minerals, including potassium and calcium, which are essential for growing crops. The harvested soil will then be mixed with a combination of recycled materials (such as repurposed plastic), to create a soil mixture that is suitable for building.
Will People Be Able to Live In These Homes?
The short answer to this question is yes, absolutely. The longer answer is that the dirt used for these homes has been tested and is safe to live in. The dirt used to build New Story’s 3D printed houses has been tested to make sure it’s free of pathogens and other harmful substances. It has been found to contain a relatively high amount of potassium and calcium, which are essential for the growth of crops. The dirt itself is completely harmless, but New Story will be mixing it with recycled materials. So, while the houses themselves will be completely safe to live in, it is necessary to test the soil/recycled mixture thoroughly before it is used to fill the gaps between the modules.
Why Build Homes With 3D Printed Dirt?
New Story has come up with the idea of using 3D printing to build homes from dirt as a way to tackle the global housing crisis. More than 100 million people are without a home, and many of those are living in dangerous and unhealthy conditions. The New Story team has come up with a solution to the housing crisis: 3D printing. By 3D printing homes from dirt, New Story is able to construct fully habitable houses for a fraction of the cost and time required to build a traditional home. Dirt is cheap, and it is also quick to work with. This means that New Story can construct fully-finished houses in a short space of time, and at a much lower cost than if they were constructing from more traditional materials.
Where Will These 3D Printed Homes Be Built?
New Story is planning to build their first printed-and-collated houses in El Salvador, where many residents live in dangerous, unhygienic conditions. The team at New Story has partnered with the staff at Fundación Hábitat para el Desarrollo Sostenible (FHDS), a nonprofit organization that specializes in sustainable building practices. FHDS will help New Story to identify a site for their first 3D printed homes.
3D Printed Homes Are Affordable and Eco-friendly
When it comes to building houses, the first thing that comes to mind is the cost. However, New Story’s 3D printed homes are expected to be very affordable. As previously mentioned, dirt is cheap, and there are no hidden costs with the construction of these homes. This means that New Story can keep the costs down for their clients. These printed-and-collated houses are also eco-friendly. By using dirt to construct the homes, New Story is able to avoid using natural resources that are in short supply. The team at New Story is also careful to use the correct proportions of recycled and natural materials when constructing these homes.
For many years, architects and engineers have been itching to get their hands on 3D printing technology. Now that 3D printers are more advanced than ever, they have the potential to revolutionize the construction industry. New Story’s 3D printed homes are expected to go a long way toward solving the global housing crisis. The printed-and-collated houses are expected to be very affordable, and they are also eco-friendly. We can expect to see the first printed-and-collated houses begin construction in El Salvador later this year.
Author: Laura Watson