How 3D Printing Is Revolutionizing Affordable Housing

How 3D Printing Is Revolutionizing Affordable Housing

PSFK's consulting team looks at how architects are beginning to adapt the on-demand technology for rapid construction.

Timothy Ryan, PSFK Labs
  • 6 january 2013

As 3D printing solutions advance in terms of available materials and scale, architects are beginning to adapt the on-demand technology for use in the construction of dwellings and other structures, ushering in the next stage of prefab buildings. Whether creating the units in pieces or in some cases, pre-assembled wholes, the on-demand nature of architecture is changing the pace at which areas can be developed, while reducing associated labor and costs. Here are two of the best examples that PSFK Labs has seen around the theme of click-to-print housing.


Open Source Platform Allows Users To Design And Print Pre-Fabricated Homes

WikiHouse is an open-source construction system that allows anyone to download and ‘print’ CNC-milled wooden components, which can be quickly and easily assembled into homes without formal skills or training. Created by the London-based design team 00 (zero zero), the software offers consumers free, open-source designs for ‘WikiHouses’ and corresponding CNC (computer numerical control) codes to print structure components out of plywood sheets. Following production, each of the designs can be assembled through interlocking features without requiring any fasteners or nails, similar to a jigsaw puzzle. By allowing consumers to create homes to their exact specifications on demand, WikiHouse is helping to drastically reduce construction cost and waste attributable to mass production lines.


3D Printer Constructs Eco-Friendly Buildings From Sand

The Stone Spray Robot is an on-site robotic 3D printer that can be used to create architectural designs out of sand. Utilizing a jet spray system, the robot can deploy a soil and liquid binder mix to construct a variety of architectural shapes.  In addition to pointing to the future of building eco-friendly structures, the robot’s creators claim the device runs completely on solar power.

See a video of the robot in action below.



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