Most houses are built block by block or brick by brick. But a demonstration house in Calverton, New York, was built scan-to-scan – the walls were made with a giant three-dimensional printer.
The house was built by the construction company SQ4D to bring new opportunities to the public and industry. Now the company is selling a still-to-be-built house in the neighboring town of Riverhead, which was listed for sale on the Zillow website for $ 299 thousand.
With a separate garage, the house will be around 130 square meters. The baseboards, foundations and the floor are made entirely with the 3D printer, along with the walls. “We ordered the machine to turn around and follow the floor plan for each floor as we passed. We’re constantly building,” Kirk Andersen, director of operations at SQ4D, told Reuters.
Andersen and his colleagues had to design and build their own printer in order to achieve their dream of the size of a house. “We came up with the idea of a desktop plastic 3D printer and wanted to make it a lot bigger and spit concrete,” says Andersen. “We place traces on each side of the structure we want to print on. We set up our huge portico, our large printer comes and goes, treats these layers one by one and builds all the walls.”
The walls took 48 hours to print. This was part of an eight day process of building the entire house. This is significantly faster and around 30% cheaper overall than a house built using traditional construction methods that require workers to manually stack blocks. “We’re showing a printer. We can replace labor-intensive and work on concrete much faster than they can lay bricks.”
Not everyone in the construction industry is excited about this prospect, and the project has received mixed reactions with some skepticism, especially from older traders. “I think people aren’t prepared for how this will change the design,” says Andersen. “This is the beginning. This is just the beginning.”