While 3D printing is not new, having your home printed is. However, the possibility is not far off. For example, in Austin this year there are plans to break ground on a community with 100 single-story printed homes. With labor and conventional materials shortages affecting the traditional homebuilding process, 3D-printed homes may be a viable option for your clients soon.
How Are They Made?
Large robotic devices are programmed to dispense a precise amount of concrete or plastic-based material into the shape of the home’s walls. Depending on the builder, they are printed on site or are preprinted and assembled on the home’s property. All other components of the house, such as wiring, plumbing, doors, windows, HVAC, and roofing, are installed traditionally.
What Are the Benefits?
The 3D-printing process is faster than building traditionally. Some companies can print the structure of a home in 24 to 48 hours. The automated process also needs fewer workers and produces less waste, cutting down the price. This makes it a great option for affordable housing. Organizations like Habitat for Humanity and Mobile Loaves & Fishes have already built small communities for the homeless. Additionally, the printed material resists mold, termites, water, and rot. It can also withstand fire and extreme weather.
What Are the Negatives?
With anything, there are limitations. High demand can affect availability since printing is dependent on printer equipment, materials, and skilled labor.
Even though 3D-printed homes are not mainstream yet, it is an alternative to keep in mind for your clients.