Imagine discussing the construction of your new home with your friend. The conversation could sound something like this:
YOU: “Yes, I can’t wait for my house to be printed. Should be ready any day now.”
FRIEND: “You still don’t have the blueprints?”
YOU: “Oh, I’ve had the blueprints for a month. Now, my house is at the factory (or home site) being printed as we speak.”
FRIEND: “Wait. The actual house that you will step inside of and cook in and watch TV in and shower in and sleep in is being printed?”
This is not a science fiction story. This is a reality show, and the reality is that your next home could be printed, instead of constructed, in a matter of days, not months. No, the walls will not be paper thin, nor will the house be one dimensional.
Tech companies have designed a 3D printer that can build anywhere from a single panel to a whole house form. One company, Mighty Buildings, uses a synthetic stone product named Light Stone to print modular panels in their warehouse. The panels are then shipped to your lot for final assembly. Another company, ICON, uses a product called Lavacrete which is a cement-based material that can be poured, I mean printed, on your home site.
Don’t worry that the human element has been eliminated. The 3D printers and robotics can only do so much. General contractors, carpenters, plumbers, electricians, cabinet installers, flooring installers, etc. are still necessary for the phases of construction that a robot just cannot do. This market may even add jobs as specialists will be needed to oversee the printing phase of the build.
To discover more about 3D printed homes and their entrance into the housing market, check out this article in the National Association of Realtors Magazine.