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Transformative Technology to Deliver 3D Printed Houses

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A truly revolutionary technology may change the face—and the speed—of building construction. Known as Contour Crafting, the new process allows large-scale structures to be fabricated quickly using 3D printing. Simply put, 3D printed houses may soon be a reality.

The inventor of Contour Crafting, Dr. Behrokh Khoshnevis, sat down with Bill Herman, AMT's Events Development Director, and IMTSTV to discuss the technology and its many potential applications. First, he explained the scale is the fundamental difference between Contour Crafting and traditional 3D printing. Contour Crafting uses significantly thicker layers to build larger structures much faster.

By using a robotic construction system, this innovative process will slash the costs and reduce the timeframes for construction. For instance, Khoshnevis noted, a machine can build an average 2,500-square-foot home in less than 24 hours.

However, the technology is not limited to small structures. Khoshnevis explained that they have already developed a conceptual framework for machines that can construct buildings and climb them as they build, eliminating any restrictions on building height.

While the technology has endless possibilities, one of the most immediate applications aims to help disaster victims around the world. Every year, millions of people are uprooted because of war and natural disasters, said Khoshnevis. He explained that Contour Crafting could quickly construct emergency shelters for those victims.

Khoshnevis and his team at the University of Southern California are also working with NASA on exciting possibilities for building on the Moon and Mars using locally sourced materials. Contour Crafting has the potential to promote human survival on the Moon or Mars by simplifying the fabrication of habitats, laboratories and other facilities necessary for survival.

An extended version of the interview with Dr. Khoshnevis is available here . For more information about exciting developments in automation, plan to attend the [MC]2 Conference.

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