The 3D printing craze is higher now than ever. Everything is being 3D printed and more consumer-based 3D printers are being solid now than ever before. (Check 3DForged.com’s best 3D printer guide and reviews.)
However, in a lot of industries, 3D printing is just used for prototyping. This, more than likely, will change eventually in those certain industries, but for now there is still a lot of technology that needs to be improved upon before 3D printers can begin producing consumer-ready products.
One industry where 3D printing may be ready to produce ready-right-now products is, housing. You heard that correctly… printing houses is now a reality…
According to Mashable, a Chinese company has built a 3D printer that can print houses. Not only can this company print houses, but apparently it can produce 10 houses in an hour. Talk about an end to the housing crisis…
The company, WinSun Decoration Design Engineering, operating out of Shanghai, uses four enormous 3D printers (so big, they can print houses… no need to say more) to create their 3D printed houses.
Each house measures 33 feet wide by 22 feet high. The homes are built out of a mixture of materials, including cement and construction waste. And, just like with traditional 3D printing, the house is constructed one layer at a time.
The benefits of such a printer are enormous. In China, where the population is wildly out of control, being able to print these compact houses quickly, with as little waste product as possible, and at a lower cost, is an enormous positive for the Chinese people.
But China is not the only one who would benefit from the ability to 3D print houses.
In almost all other industries where 3D printing is making waves, the main benefits is the ability to use less resources to build the same product. This, of course, has a majorly positive impact on both the environment and the economy. Less resources needed means less carbon dioxide and it also means lower costs.
WinSun is doing the same thing with its enormous 3D printer. According to the Mashable article, each 2,100 square-foot building costs less than $5,000 to construct. That’s incredible!
Even with a markup price of 500%, these homes would still cost at most the same as a brand new consumer class vehicle. Imagine paying your home off in four years, rather than 10, 20, or even 30. Or, imagine having a substantially smaller mortgage. This could be a real possible if housing goes the way of 3D printers.
As of right now, there are no strict building codes in place for 3D printed houses, so there are still some hoops to jump through. However, this is an extremely huge step for both 3D printing and the housing industry. And, it will be interesting to see how long it takes for you to have a friend who lives in a 3D printed house.