A researcher has built a huge 3D printer capable of building a house in 24 hours and, possibly, of revolutionizing the construction industry.
Business Insider reports that Professor Behrokh Khoshnevis at the University of Southern California has already built the technology, complete with a nozzle that dispenses concrete. The robot builds a house based on a set computer pattern.
Khoshnevis told MSN that the technology is “basically scaling up 3D printing to the scale of building.” Dubbed Contour Crafting, the robot replaces construction workers with its super-efficient capacities, which can churn out a 2,500-square-foot home in just a day.
The printer will not eliminate jobs, Khoshnevis said, but ultimately create them. And it could provide people around the world with affordable housing.
“At the dawn of the 21st century [slums] are the condition of shelter for nearly one billion people in our world,” said Khoshnevis. “These buildings are breeding grounds for disease a problem of conventional construction which is slow, labor intensive and inefficient.”
As Khoshenevis pointed out, buildings are about the only things these days that have to be constructed by hand. Construction is a slow, laborious, expensive, and dangerous process. The Iranian-born professor foresees workers laying down rails for the robot to operate — and letting the computer take over. The nozzle would spray concrete to create hollow walls, then fill the walls with additional concrete. Manpower would be required “to hang doors and insert windows.”
Khoshenevis even shipped off a prototype to NASA back in 2005, according to an article in Discover magazine. The agency wants to explore the possibilities of constructing buildings on the moon from lunar dust.