3D Print Technology is amazing and innovative and may offer a way to solve the homeless crisis. How could that be? 3D Printing has been successful in creating objects from toys to guns.
What if homes could be created dirt-cheap?
In Austin, Texas a small home for the homeless was created out of a 33-foot machine. But an Italian architecture firm is taking this even further and is conducting experiments to make the process cheaper and more eco-friendly. Instead of making the home with typical building materials, they are using local soil.
Using multiple 3D Print technology, they have created dome-shaped houses out of clay, like adobe, in Ravenna, Italy. Concrete, which is commonly used in home building has a deep carbon footprint, but a soil-built home is environmentally conscious.
The process reduces the transportation needed to make cement because the material is sourced directly on location. The only equipment needed is the 3D Print machine, which is light and can analyze the soil on site.
The soil is excavated and sifted to remove gravel and stones and blended with water and rice husks in a concrete mixer. This makes it solid enough to form viable walls. The mixture is then squeezed out through a nozzle in the printer stacking thin layers that become walls.
Each home is approximately 645 square feet, and the process takes roughly 200 hours to print. There are hopes that it will be an even quicker process in the future.
Watch this video to see how 3D Print homes are built
The walls created by 3D Print technology are strong, and their thickness keeps the homes sufficiently insulated. Light is brought in through a skylight at the top. The team is currently experimenting with new designs with some being adapted to different climates and soil composition.
Where does this technology end?
Although 3D Print homebuilding is futuristic and clever, what type of impact will this have on business and the labor force? Using soil as the primary building material makes it dirt-cheap for sure.
Contractors and craftsmen who design homes may find their jobs becoming eliminated. This will have an impact on the job market, business, and possibly tax collections.
Will payroll tax laws start asserting a fee on equipment used to replace the labor force lost? We will have to see.