3D printing has grown from a fascinating novelty to the means by which dreamers will usher in the future. One such dreamer is professor Behrokh Khoshnevis of the University of Southern California who has developed a massive 3D printer that, he says, can "print" an entire house over the course of a mere 24 hours. With the invention comes the collective melancholy of all those who work in construction.
The 3D printer won't entirely replace construction workers (in the near future, anyway),but will make the process of building new homes and structures incredibly efficient and fast. The idea is the designers will create a model of the home digitally, then that digital image will be used by the printer to begin printing out layers of a fast-drying concrete.
The printer itself is long and positioned on two track temporarily installed on either side of the home or structure, enabling it to work in both the X and Y axis once it is calibrated. Not only does the rapid development process eliminate the long wait that results from modern home construction, it could also decrease costs and prove better for the environment.
The printing may not be limited to Earth in the future, either. Says the researchers: "Our research also addresses the application of Contour Crafting in building habitats on other planets. Contour Crafting will most probably be one of the very few feasible approaches for building structures on other planets, such as the Moon and Mars, which are being targeted for human colonisation before the end of the new century."