3D printed houses
The future of construction?
Laying the foundation. -Printed Farms Courtesy Photo
By Tami Stevenson
Last week, in Tallahassee, construction began on a house in the neighborhood of Griffin Heights that has professionals in the construction industry taking notice. This is not a conventionally built home and may be the first of its kind in Florida. It is being built using a 3D printer and drawing quite a crowd of onlookers.
They are saying two construction workers are all that is needed to complete the initial construction of the 3B/2BA home and claim they should be finished in less than a week.
According to an article in the Tallahassee Democrat, Kyndra and James Light, owners of Precision Building and Renovating, were looking for innovative ways to offer affordable housing. They purchased a lot in Griffin Heights in order to build the 3D house. They hope to sell it for around $200,000, once completed, which may be twelve weeks or more in all.
Building walls. -Printed Farms Courtesy Photo
The 3D printer is from a company called Printed Farms, based in Florida. Modeled after a Danish manufacturer, their website says they have made improvements to the original printer, calling it the BOD2. According to their brochure, it can print on uneven or poorly leveled surfaces. The printer measures the distance to the foundation and collects the data in a “height map”. When printing the first layers, the printer can automatically compensate for these uneven surfaces, layer by layer, until the resulting print is completely level. This ensures a level top wall even for very uneven slabs.
They say the BOD2 has been developed to print with a wide range of materials. The extruder can handle up to 10 mm aggregates and thus print with real concrete and not just mortars.
One might wonder what the Sears, Roebuck and Company would think of this. They sold mail-order houses out of catalogs and shipped them piece by piece via railroad boxcars in North America between 1908 and 1940. Some of those houses are still standing today. They may very well say, “Go for it!”
For more information about the 3D printing process visit printedfarms.com.