3D printers have been growing in both popularity and scope. Just a short while ago I wrote about 3D printers being used to reproduce human bones with a 3D-printed jaw bone replacement. In typical technological-growth patterns the technology is improving in folds, rapidly — something predicted long ago by Moore’s Law.
What nobody predicted in the near future though was that the home-building industry would get a MAJOR upgrade, to Home Printing. Yup, home printing. Thanks to the fast growth of 3D printing in additive manufacturing technology it is most-recently being applied to home manufacturing. Thanks to the inventive genius of Enrico Dini, founder of Moonlite UK and inventor of robotic building system D-Shape, we have entered a new era, where printing just got a LOT bigger.
Note: Video is not in English.
The D-Shape system has the potential to create a two-story building, including columns, stairs, domes, piping holes and more — using just run-of-the-mill sand combined with an inorganic binder. The composite material is said to be interchangeable (and indistinguishable) from materials like marble, due to its similar physical characteristics. The marble-like compound is far superior to most building materials currently in use, like masonry and reinforced concrete.
The D-Shape works like a typical 3D printer, although on a notably larger scale, by squirting out material into a path programmed into accompanying software from a CAD drawing. By squeezing out an adhesive liquid amalgamation onto a bed of sand, then combining a catalyst binds the products and the mix begins to solidify into a rock-hard structure.
Working from the bottom up a single structure could be printed (built) in a single session and would take just 24 hours to ‘dry’ (solidifying itself into place). This point-and-build process can be done by a single layperson with a pre-designed CAD file.
The output of a single D-Shape unit could produce up to 2,500 square meters annually, which is equivalent to 12 two-story buildings. The process could potentially replace the labor-intensive traditional building process as it can be done in just 25% of the time, with little to no manpower.
Like all cool-sounding technologies the house-building power of the D-Shape is still rather theoretical as Dini hasn’t yet been able to print an entire, functional house as of yet. It is expected that the printing of houses is still 5 to 10 years out.