By Morgen E. Peck.
It can take anywhere from six weeks to six months to build a 2,800-square-foot, two-story house in the U.S., mostly because human beings do all the work.
Within the next five years, chances are that 3D printing (also known by the less catchy but more inclusive term additive manufacturing) will have become so advanced that we will be able to upload design specifications to a massive robot, press print, and watch as it spits out a concrete house in less than a day. Plenty of humans will be there, but just to ogle.
Minimizing the time and cost that goes into creating shelters will enable aid workers to address the needs of people in desperate situations. This, at least, is what Behrokh Khoshnevis, a professor of engineering and director of the Center for Rapid Automated Fabrication Technologies, or CRAFT, at the University of Southern California, hopes will come of his inventions.
“Initially it will be most beneficial to developing countries to eradicate their slums. Next is emergency shelter construction where war and natural disaster uproots thousands of people,” says Khoshnevis. “[It] can build much cheaper and much faster and can produce dignified housing rather than tents and boxes.”
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