The 3D printer that can build a house in 24 hours : Contour Crafting


How to create Building by a 3D Printing Machine…

THERE are robot vacuum cleaners and robot mops to help us around the house, so why not a robot to build our homes? Wait no longer.

Now there is a nifty tub of electronics to do just that, build a house from scratch, and fast.

Forget weeks to find a builder and months for house construction, a machine developed in the United States can build a 232sq m home layer by layer in a single day.

University of Southern California’s Professor Behrokh Khoshnevis has designed the giant robot that replaces construction workers with a nozzle on a gantry, this squirts out concrete and can quickly build a home according to a computer pattern.

It is “basically scaling up 3D printing to the scale of building,” Prof Khoshnevis toldmsnUK.

The technology, known as Contour Crafting, could revolutionise the construction industry, he says.

robotic arm 3d concrete printing
robotic arm 3d concrete printing

Affordable homes?

Prof Khoshnevis Contour Crafting could slash the cost of homeowning, making it possible for millions of displaced people to get on the property ladder.

It could even be used in disaster relief areas to build emergency and replacement housing.

As Prof Khoshnevis points out, if you look around you pretty much everything is made automatically these days “your shoes, your clothes, home appliances, your car. The only thing that is still built by hand are these buildings”.

How does it work?

The Contour Crafting system is a robot that automates age-old tools normally used by hand. These are wielded by a robotic gantry that builds a three-dimensional object.

Strong walls are built up layer by layer using concrete with automatic reinforcement, while plumbing and electrics are also added by the system during the building process.

The nature of the technology means it will also be possible to create curved walls and architecture that is both “exotic and ‘beautiful”, according to Prof Khoshnevis.

As a result, it could be ideal to print out customised luxury homes.


Furthermore, Prof Khoshnevis believes that the technology could be applied beyond our planet.

“Contour Crafting technology has the potential to build safe, reliable, and affordable lunar and Martian structures, habitats, laboratories, and other facilities before the arrival of human beings,’ his website reads.


The technology has been developed over several years and has been put back in the spotlight this week as part of the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas which highlights the enormous growth in robotics.


The end of builders?

What the implications are for builders with this new home construction technology is, of course, a major concern.

But Prof Khoshnevis says “the reality is that a lot of new jobs can be created in this sector as well (from it)”.

So can the Contour Crafting robot move from its research lab environment and into the real world?

“If you can build a wall, you can build a house,” says Prof Khoshnevis.

But Contour Crafting was named one of the 25 best inventions in 2006 by the National Inventors Hall of Fame and the History Channel’s Modern Marvels program and is still being tested.

So don’t go ditching your builder just yet.

3d construction materials
3d construction materials

About The Author

Author: Civil Engineer

Hello, My self Neelmani, A Civil Engineer. Presently I am working with Indian Railway. An Affiliate Member of ASCE "American Society of Civil Engineers". B.Tech in Civil Engineering from MIT Muzaffarpur and Diploma in Railway from IPWE as well as Civil Engineering from Govt. Polytechnic Muzaffarpur.

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