If you have been paying attention to 3D printing, you know that people all over the world are making incredible advances in the technology’s applications as a means to create homes. We’re still a few years away from the first real estate professional selling a buyer on the merits of 3D printed houses, but we’ll take a look at recent developments in this exciting field anyway.
Ten houses in 24 hours
While the homes that it makes aren’t all that luxurious yet, a firm in China grabbed headlines earlier this year when it demonstrated a system of four gigantic 3D printers that constructed 10 single-story houses in 24 hours, according to state news agency Xinhua, RT reported. A mix of cement and construction waste was used to create the walls layer by layer.
In the future, this technique could be used to build environmentally friendly, cost-effective homes for everyone. While the company’s current stock of houses are relatively modest, it hopes that its technology will one day be used to make skyscrapers.
Canal house project
The 3D Print Canal House project is significantly slower than the Chinese variant, but perhaps more appealing to potential buyers. Over the course of several months, the project aims to build a house along a canal front in the Netherlands piece by piece. Parts made by the firm’s printer, known as Kamermaker, are still assembled by hand.
While most 3D printing projects involving real estate have focused on the exterior of a home, a company called Emerging Objects is working to print interiors, according to 3DPrint.com. Using waste and renewable sources for construction materials and some of the most common industrial 3D printers, the company creates easily assembled bricks and tiles to make interior walls and surfaces. Their materials of choice? Cement and salt polymers that are formed into hard, porous bricks that they call “Picoroco Blocks.”
Perhaps closer than commercial-ready 3D printed houses is the possibility of 3D printed furniture. Already, those willing to shell out for a printer can design their own tables, chairs, storage and even door handles, or simply download a design that someone else came up with. LifeHack has a list of 11 fantastic 3D printed pieces, which vary from the simply weird looking to the truly absurd. Our favorite is the chair made entirely from melted down refrigerators and green dye.
Print your own house
If all of this wasn’t enough to convince you that you’ve fallen into the future, perhaps this will. According to a separate article from 3DPrint.com, Slovenian company BetAbram plans to begin selling their 3D house printer to the general public either this month or next month. There will be three versions of the printer, which comes with a system of rails that allow it to move. P3, the cheapest model, works within a maximum area of 3 meters by 4 meters (there is no height limit, as it can easily be moved up) and costs around $16,000; P2 works within 12 meters by 6 meters, and costs about $27,000; and P1 works within 16 meters by 9 meters, and costs approximately $43,000.
You won’t be selling 3D printed houses in your capacity as a real estate professional for the immediately foreseeable future, but given that few in the general public had heard of 3D printers just two years ago, it’s a safe bet that they’re coming.