Thanks to amazing developments in the 3D printing industry, printing your own home is an upcoming reality. If you’re not familiar with 3D printing, or how it relates to building homes, that’s okay! It’s appearance to the public is fairly new, even though the technology has been around for decades.

If you’ve wondered how an inhabitable house can be printed, you’re in the right place.

What does a 3D home even mean?

A 3D printed home is a home constructed using autonomous additive manufacturing using a large scale printer. In other words, it’s a home that can be built very quickly.

To fully understand, you’ll need to know what 3D printing is, and how it’s used in construction.

A printed modern 3D home.

3D Printing is *Mostly* Autonomous

A 3D Printed Home Replica inside of a small scale 3D printer

A printed plastic home replica inside of a small scale 3D printer. (Source: Pixabay)

The process is also sometimes referred to as additive manufacturing. Additive refers to the material or filament fed through the printer. A simple comparison is exactly how you’d picture how an office printer uses ink to successively layer patterns that display readable graphics and text.

In other words, it’s really just printing a tangible 3D object with a printer. How is this done? Well, in smaller scale applications, a printer lays down thin materials made of liquid, metal, and sometimes even ingredients (yes, printing edible food is real). Then, the layers are fused together, like you see in the photo on the left.

Note that the object is fully 3-dimensional and the layers of material (or filament) are fused together by stacking one on top of the other. The layers of material are dropped according to programming code set on the computer.

The printer is run in accordance with the computer, which is why the process is so fast. That’s also why, in most instances, using a 3D printer is not plug and play. While the 3D printer handles most of the heavy lifting, a trained operator must be behind the scenes instructing and monitoring the machine to make sure things are operating according to plan.

This technology has been around for several decades. It is now being utilized to build affordable homes.

How 3D printing made its way into construction

Don’t get us started on the rising prices of homes and construction costs. We can talk about that for hours. Certainly, it plays a big role in the mission to harness the technology to cut costs so owning a house isn’t unrealistic. But it isn’t the sole reason. It also has helped improve workflow and speed up smaller scale construction tasks.

Concrete is pliable when wet, but hardens as it dries to create a structurally sound building material. It’s been used as a sustainable construction material for hundreds of years, the oldest known structure being the Parthenon in Rome, Italy. It’s the perfect additive for a large scale construction printer and completely safe to live in.

In fact, modern advancements started years ago with smaller concrete builds. Now modern homes are being built and the ultimate goal of making home buying more accessible is being achieved, thanks in part to autonomous additive technology.

SQ4D 3D Printed Concrete Wall

SQ4D 3D Printer nozzle extruding wet concrete.

How the Printers
Use the Concrete

SQ4D printer in action.

To put it simply: concrete is fed with the printer using large hoses and laid in successive layers according to code set by the computer. Directed by the code, the machine will turn for corners, stop to leave specified room for windows, and even layer inner walls at a shorter height within the structure. The printer moves on a gantry, which is a track for the nozzle to move around on, just like a regular printer. Amazing, right?

On the left, enjoy a video of the printer in action.

Are there any differences to a 3D printed home?

Besides being built with extremely durable, fire resistant materials, there’s not many differences to owning a printed home vs another home. Unless you’re also counting:

  • An even more unique, cooler home
  • Being apart of the sustainable builds club
  • Saving thousands of dollars
  • Bragging rights

To read more, check out our other resources, follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Be sure to pass along this information with your friends and family! Everyone needs a home they can afford and we’re hoping to start building near you.

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