Tuesday, 28 Feb, 2012 Technology

Latest Invention: D-Shape - 3D Printer Able to Build Houses


With the growing popularity of 3D printers, it is no wonder more and more things, such as toys and chess figures are being made using additive manufacturing. However, previously only small or medium products were created using 3D printing.

Enrico Dini, the founder of Monolite UK, decided to come up with a machine that could build a whole house using the same technology. His invention is called D-Shape "robotic building system," and it is able to print a 2-story building with stairs, partition walls, columns, dome and even piping cavities. The material used for printing represents a mix of sand and an inorganic binder.

An interesting thing about the material is that it not only boasts a close resemblance to marble, but also has the same physical properties and a durability that is superior to that of reinforced concrete.

The structure is built using the process that most 3D printers apply, with the only difference being the size of the machine and its outcome. Everything is created in one work session, with the printing process starting at the bottom and up.

In a year the machine is able to build a structure measuring 2,500 square meters (26,910 sq ft), an equivalent of a 12 two-story building. This is about four times faster than the time traditional methods need to build an equivalent.

Despite the fact that all the features of D-Shape in theory make the device a powerful tool in building, the inventors so far did not print a proper house with their machine. It might take some time before the technology evolves and actually proves it can build real houses.

[via The Verge]

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