Well, 3D printing might have been stonewashed for some time from the spotlight of fundamental “disruptive” technologies, but not for long. A company has 3D-printed a 400-square-foot (or 37 meters) home in Russia in merely 24 hours at a price of slightly over $10,000. The company Apis Cor, 3D printing specialists based in Russia and San Francisco, used a mobile printer on-site to build the house, as reported in the Telegraph. The company told that the walls of the house were 3D printed and painted in only a day.
Generally, when a building is 3D-printed, the components are made off-site which are later used to construct the building. This is not the case with Apis Cor as they make use of a mobile printer in order to 3D-print their apartments on-site. This makes their technique unique.
The world’s first 3D-printed apartment was built in China in 2015 whose structures were printed off-site. So, the Apis’ process is only one of its kind as it eradicates the requirement of transporting the printed structures to the construction site.
According to the Apis Cor,
“Printing of self-bearing walls, partitions and building envelope were done in less than a day: pure machine time of printing amounted to 24 hours.”
A concrete mixture is used to print the major components of the house, including the walls, partitions and building envelope. The printer is removed with a crane-manipulator once the house has been completed after which the roof is added. This is followed by the interior fixtures and furnishings, as is a layer of paint to the exterior of the house.
The first house has been 3D-printed in one of the Apis Cor’s facilities in Russia and it consists of a hallway, bathroom, living room and kitchen. The total construction cost of the house is $10,134. The house can last for almost 175 years, as per the company.
The inventor of the mobile printer and founder of Apis Cor, Nikita Chen-yun-tai, told that he aspires “to automate everything”. He said:
“When I first thought about creating my machine the world has already knew about the construction 3D printing. But all printers created before shared one thing in common – they were portal type. I am sure that such a design doesn’t have a future due to its bulkiness. So I took care of this limitation and decided to upgrade a construction crane design.”
He also told:
“We want to help people around the world to improve their living conditions. That’s why the construction process needs to become fast, efficient and high-quality as well. For this to happen we need to delegate all the hard work to smart machines.”
Apis Cor claims to be the first company to have created a 3D printer capable of printing whole buildings on-site. Although the technology is still in its initial stages, it is expected that the deflationary pressures released by Apis-Cor and its competitors may perhaps result in a huge deflationary wave across the construction space, and would mean that a house that cost in the hundreds of thousands, or millions now, could be constructed for a fraction of the cost, offering cheap, accessible housing to millions, perhaps in the process revolutionizing and upending the multi trillion-dollar mortgage business that is the bedrock of the US banking industry.