Imagine a time when you can print a new door knob, a sink trap, a cabinet, or any other house component right in your home. That time is rapidly approaching, thanks to 3D printing technology. 3D printed homes may be your house of the future.
When Sean Mashian recently wrote about the potential of 3D printing technology (The impact of 3D printing on real estate; Cornell Real Estate Review; 2017. 15, p64-65.), he was correct to say that the technology has the potential to change the home construction industry. 3D printing may also be the ultimate affordable housing solution, printing on demand homes and apartments at a fraction of stick-built homes.
Currently, 3D printing is most often used in the real estate industry as a way of creating scale models for new developments. As the technology grows and becomes more commonplace, there may be huge changes coming to real estate from this emerging technology…Right now, 3D printing is expensive and still in rudimentary stages. As we learned from the explosion of e-commerce just a decade ago however, a rapidly growing trend can quickly become a way of life. If 3D printing continues its swift rise to prominence, real estate will change and well positioned assets stand to benefit.
But 3D printing is already making an impact on housing design and construction, as Eric Schimelpfenig wrote in 2013 (Design and the 3D Printing Revolution; Kitchen & Bath Design News; 2013, p20). He talked about one New York company that was already manufacturing personalized 3D printed bathroom fixtures. Besides custom faucets, 3D printing tech will also bring us on-demand custom cabinets and other fixtures too. Schimelpfenig said, “that future isn’t far away… and it’s going to be awesome.”
Schimelpfenig’s future is unfolding before us as 3D printing technology is rapidly advancing. The technology has come a long way since the first 3D printer was created by Charles Hull in 1983. Originally, 3D printing was used for 3D modeling. As the technology become cheaper and widely available, 3D printed modeling become a hit with hobbyists. However, the potential in commercial applications didn’t really make strides until the turn of the century.
Although, 3D printing is not yet widely used in home construction, there are companies already 3D printing entire homes. Apis Cor (apis-cor.com) not only builds 3D printed homes, but claims to be the first company to develop a mobile construction 3D printer capable of printing an entire building completely on site.
We are the first company to develop a mobile construction 3D printer which is capable of printing whole buildings completely on site.
Also we are people. Engineers, managers, builders and inventors sharing one common idea – to change the construction industry so that millions of people will have an opportunity to improve their living conditions.
Apis Cor 3D printed a home in Russia last December in 24 hours. The one level home was rudimentary, and had 38 square meters (about 409 square feet) of living space. But this was a demonstration of the flexibility of the 3D printing technology. The endeavor not only showed how a home can be 3D printed on site, but that it can also be done in the cold of winter. The company claims that 3D printed homes can be any shape, and designs are only restricted by the laws of physics.
Apis Cor states that 3D printed homes can also cost less because an onsite 3D printer “frees up resources.” Construction costs are lower because there is a cost reduction in labor, construction waste disposal, construction machinery rentals, tools, and finishings. They claim that one 3D printer “can replace a whole team of construction workers, saving time without loss of quality.”
Copyright© Dan Krell
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