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World's First 3D Printed Estate Coming To New York

Unknown Lamer posted about a month and a half ago | from the print-your-own-castle dept.

Printer 108

New submitter Randy-tanner (3791853) writes A well known New York architect & contractor has begun construction on what is possibly the largest 3D printing related project ever undertaken. He is 3D printing an entire estate, which includes an in-ground swimming pool, a pool house, and a huge 2400 square foot home. The project is expected to take two years to complete, and if all goes as planned the printer will automatically insert rebar into the concrete.

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Let us redefine "progress" (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47712861)

Just because you can do a thing, it does not necessarily follow that you should do that thing.

Re:Let us redefine "progress" (3, Interesting)

Ravaldy (2621787) | about a month and a half ago | (#47712957)

Progress happens when you take something that has potential but isn't yet viable and make it viable.

If you could 3D print a foundation and increase the quality and durability of it then it makes sense since I know for a fact that concrete is a complicated process that has potential for major failure if not done properly.

Re:Let us redefine "progress" (1)

cyborg_monkey (150790) | about a month and a half ago | (#47713015)

There is no way a printed foundation will outperform a concrete solution.

Re:Let us redefine "progress" (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47713113)

There is no way an automobile will outperform a stagecoach.

Re:Let us redefine "progress" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47713497)

There is no way an automobile will outperform a stagecoach.

Said nobody ever. There was no advantage of a horse over a car. None what so ever. There are huge advantages in traditional building methods over 3D printing and no amount of wishful thinking will change that.

Re:Let us redefine "progress" (1)

Scottingham (2036128) | about a month and a half ago | (#47713557)

Um...you can ride a horse drunk?

Re:Let us redefine "progress" (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47713689)

Um...you can ride a horse drunk?

Depends on how drunk is the horse.
I can have no problem what so ever riding in a car drunk.

Re:Let us redefine "progress" (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47713723)

The horse is here to stay, but the automobile is only a novelty—a fad.
        - Advice from a president of the Michigan Savings Bank to Henry Ford's lawyer Horace Rackham. Rackham ignored the advice and invested $5000 in Ford stock, selling it later for $12.5 million.

That the automobile has practically reached the limit of its development is suggested by the fact that during the past year no improvements of a radical nature have been introduced.
        - Scientific American, Jan. 2, 1909.

https://www.lhup.edu/~dsimanek/neverwrk.htm

Re:Let us redefine "progress" (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47714009)

Re:Let us redefine "progress" (3, Insightful)

Applehu Akbar (2968043) | about a month and a half ago | (#47714761)

The difference is that there's no global consortium of oil companies conspiring to eliminate 3-D printing.

Re:Let us redefine "progress" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47717013)

That is hardly what held back the atomic car.

Re:Let us redefine "progress" (1)

rhazz (2853871) | about a month ago | (#47720023)

Not global no, but the mafia might have a problem with it on a regional basis.

Horses have their advantages (4, Informative)

sjbe (173966) | about a month and a half ago | (#47714249)

There was no advantage of a horse over a car. None what so ever.

Horses can go places cars cannot. Horses are cheaper than most cars, especially if they have access to pasture. Horses last longer than most cars since a horse typically lives for 20-25 years. Horses make less noise and pollute less (even considering the fecal matter). A well trained horse can get you home in some cases with little input from the rider - no car can do that. You can eat a horse should the need arise - no so much with a car. I don't have to insure a horse. I can herd livestock much easier with a horse than with a car. Horses do not require specially built roads to be useful whereas most cars are fairly useless without roads unless they are specially designed. I can jump a fence with a horse.

Not to say cars don't have huge advantages but there are actually quite a few very real advantages to horses.

Re:Horses have their advantages (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47714651)

And they have much, much bigger cocks.

Re:Horses have their advantages (1)

Applehu Akbar (2968043) | about a month and a half ago | (#47714769)

Clearly you have never driven a BMW.

Re:Horses have their advantages (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47716511)

Re:Let us redefine "progress" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47714253)

You're absolutely correct! Nobody has learned anything from trying and there has never been a single documented case of improvement in anything, ever, as a result. That's why I still build my houses out of sticks, grass, and yak shit because traditional building methods are the best.

Re:Let us redefine "progress" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47717465)

The printed solution is concrete. What the fuck did you think they were going to use? Plastic?

Re:Let us redefine "progress" (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about a month and a half ago | (#47713209)

While true there is "progress" that serves no purpose. This is one of those cases. Sure, it is interesting that it is possible. But where is the progress? It will not be more stable than concrete, it will not be more durable than concrete and for sure it won't be faster than pouring concrete. The huge advantages of 3D printing (like the ability to seamlessly put something into something else or create durably connected locked joints) simply don't come into play when it comes to building a house.

Re:Let us redefine "progress" (3, Insightful)

meta-monkey (321000) | about a month and a half ago | (#47713411)

About half the cost of building a house is labor. They say in the article that aside from the guy running the printer, there are no labor costs here. I don't believe that's necessarily true, because there's still got to be somebody wiring the electrical and installing windows, but regardless, it could dramatically decrease the cost of building a home. It could also be a lot faster. Imagine that, just rolling up two trucks to a construction site: one carrying the printer, another with all the crushed rock, setting it up and letting it go. A week later, a finished home ready for a family to move into at half the cost. That brings the dream of home ownership within the reach of a lot of people who wouldn't have been able to afford it before. We live in exciting times.

Re:Let us redefine "progress" (1)

everett (154868) | about a month and a half ago | (#47713637)

That brings the dream of home ownership within the reach of a lot of people who wouldn't have been able to afford it before. We live in exciting times.

Unless said people derived their income from building homes, which a lot of the skilled trades still do.

Re:Let us redefine "progress" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47713869)

That brings the dream of home ownership within the reach of a lot of people who wouldn't have been able to afford it before. We live in exciting times.

Unless said people derived their income from building homes, which a lot of the skilled trades still do.

No one is owed a job.

Re:Let us redefine "progress" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47714581)

No one is owed a market or a stable social structure that can bail them out when they make bad decisions either...

Re:Let us redefine "progress" (1)

mark-t (151149) | about a month and a half ago | (#47714681)

...except to the extent that one is owed the opportunity to be a productive member of a society, unless one adopts the premise that said society would be better off if those that were unemployed would simply die.

But in general, yes, I fully agree.

Re:Let us redefine "progress" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47715853)

No one is owed a *specific* job, e.g. buggy whip manufacturers.

Re:Let us redefine "progress" (1)

meta-monkey (321000) | about a month and a half ago | (#47714083)

But then you're arguing for inefficiency to make-work.

Re:Let us redefine "progress" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47713939)

That brings the dream of home ownership within the reach of a lot of people who wouldn't have been able to afford it before. We live in exciting times.

The Ownership Society made reality. Thanks Dubya!

Re:Let us redefine "progress" (1)

oldmac31310 (1845668) | about a month and a half ago | (#47714665)

Mmm. This has been possible for many years. Pre-fabricated houses, buildings etc. There is no need for a printer. Just pour the damn parts into moulds. Now where's my buggy whip and red flag?

Re:Let us redefine "progress" (1)

Carnildo (712617) | about a month and a half ago | (#47716685)

Imagine that, just rolling up two trucks to a construction site: one carrying the printer, another with all the crushed rock, setting it up and letting it go. A week later, a finished home ready for a family to move into at half the cost.

Imagine that, just rolling up two trucks to a construction site: one carrying the left half of the home, and one carrying the right half. A bit of maneuvering to align them on the foundation pad, a little work connecting things up, and the family can start moving in that afternoon.

Or if you prefer a non-standard shape, how about two trucks: one carrying a collection of prefabricated floor, wall, and roof sections, and one carrying a crane and a construction crew. Takes a bit longer to assemble, but it can still be done in less than a day.

Rapid construction of houses is nothing new. I watched a neighbor's house go from foundation pad to final painting in less than a day back in the early 80s, and it was old tech even then.

Re:Let us redefine "progress" (1)

belmolis (702863) | about a month and a half ago | (#47717821)

Also, the machine isn't large enough to print the whole house: it is going to be used to create pieces. Those pieces will have to be assembled and joined to each other. That will require labor.

Economics of automation and 3d printing (1)

sjbe (173966) | about a month ago | (#47720101)

They say in the article that aside from the guy running the printer, there are no labor costs here.

Care to wager on that? Exactly how do you think they are going to get the fabricated parts in place? Magical levitation? How do you think the fabricated parts are going to be secured and connected? The labor in building a modern structure is less in fabrication than in assembly. It' common for entire walls and roofs to be delivered as preassembled framing. The expense of a foundation isn't in the fabrication but in the prep work for the site - making sure things are level and plumb and the drainage is correct. It' very cheap to pour concrete walls onsite and raise them into place. Throwing a bunch of 3D printing isn't going to reduce the labor costs much if any and it will greatly increase the materials cost.

I don't believe that's necessarily true, because there's still got to be somebody wiring the electrical and installing windows, but regardless, it could dramatically decrease the cost of building a home.

It will not even slightly decrease cost, at least not anytime soon. Quite the opposite in fact for most applications. I run a manufacturing company and I'm a cost accountant. I've also worked with 3D printing as far back as 1998. What 3D printing does is it drastically reduces setup time and tooling costs for low volume production. The downside is that it is very slow and the materials cost is very high. This makes it useful for applications like prototyping, very low volume production (Imagine that, just rolling up two trucks to a construction site: one carrying the printer, another with all the crushed rock, setting it up and letting it go. A week later, a finished home ready for a family to move into at half the cost.

That's a nice piece of science fiction you have there. Maybe in 50 years it might begin to be possible. Don't get me wrong I'd love to see something like that but we are a LOOOONG way away from what you describe right now. Furthermore your assumption that using automation like that would be cheaper is probably very wrong at least for quite a while. Any time you have automation, the cost of it needs to be amortized over a lot of units to make sense. Machines like what you describe would be hugely expensive so they would have to build a LOT of units to cost less than whatever labor would be required to do the same job. That is a much more difficult proposition than you seem to be suggesting.

Re:Let us redefine "progress" (2)

David_Hart (1184661) | about a month and a half ago | (#47713547)

While true there is "progress" that serves no purpose. This is one of those cases. Sure, it is interesting that it is possible. But where is the progress? It will not be more stable than concrete, it will not be more durable than concrete and for sure it won't be faster than pouring concrete. The huge advantages of 3D printing (like the ability to seamlessly put something into something else or create durably connected locked joints) simply don't come into play when it comes to building a house.

This is just a precursor towards a future where construction is handled by machines controlled from home office. For example, if you have a large enough 3D printer, you could print whole walls, foundations, etc. and machines could put them together similar to the way cars are built today. This is more of a small scale example of what can be done.

Re:Let us redefine "progress" (1)

Applehu Akbar (2968043) | about a month and a half ago | (#47714801)

I can see printed aercitecture leadng to standardized components of construction. Architects will be just as creative as they are today, but the ability to include standardized design elements, such as a leakproof and stress-qualified roof of a given type at a given size, into buildings will revolutionize the art.

Re:Let us redefine "progress" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47717487)

You seem to be under the idiotic impression that 3D printing is limited to materials that are less durable than normal building materials. In fact, there have been 3D printers that could handle concretes, metals, ceramics, glass and plastics for years.

Re:Let us redefine "progress" (1)

Ravaldy (2621787) | about a month ago | (#47721327)

I don't think you can anticipate how far 3D printing can go. Although 3D printing has existed for a long time it is just starting to be a field of interest. As more research is poured into it will become better and more affordable.

The progress will be in the ability to make concrete consistently reliable versus the hit and miss you get from hiring one company versus another.

As for faster you also can't tell. It may be tones faster 10 years from now.

Re:Let us redefine "progress" (1)

geekmux (1040042) | about a month and a half ago | (#47713001)

Just because you can do a thing, it does not necessarily follow that you should do that thing.

Really?

That's going to be kind of a hard thing to convince the YOLO generation to do, especially when they're too busy making six figures recording fart noises over their video game channel on YouTube while watching Jackass sequels for inspiration.

Seems we pay a LOT to be entertained by the the stupid shit people can do. Go figure why they feel they should continue to do them.

Re:Let us redefine "progress" (0)

cyborg_monkey (150790) | about a month and a half ago | (#47713179)

who the fuck says yolo any more?

Re:Let us redefine "progress" (2)

meta-monkey (321000) | about a month and a half ago | (#47713419)

Everybody who said it died.

Re:Let us redefine "progress" (2)

gmhowell (26755) | about a month and a half ago | (#47713685)

And there was much rejoicing.

Re:Let us redefine "progress" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47713739)

retarded people

Re:Let us redefine "progress" (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about a month and a half ago | (#47713225)

I'd pay a lot to be entertained. Too bad nobody is offering...

Re:Let us redefine "progress" (1)

oldmac31310 (1845668) | about a month and a half ago | (#47714901)

I have never encountered YOLO before. Never let it happen again. YHBW! (You have been warned)

Re:Let us redefine "progress" (1)

necro81 (917438) | about a month and a half ago | (#47713405)

A reference to Star Trek VI was the last thing that I expected to find as the first post...

Your cynicism sir ... (1)

MacTO (1161105) | about a month and a half ago | (#47713455)

... would have ended the computer revolution before it even began. Keep in mind that computers, automobiles, air planes, etc. were all incredibly primitive in their days. At best they provided an incremental step forwards in some applications while being a huge step backwards in most other applications. Yet people plugged away at the technology and created something that was truly amazing in the long run.

Remember those first computers. They were unreliable number crunchers that could barely be programmed and certainly weren't programmable in the way we think of programming today. There were applications to be sure: in domains like ballistics and finance, but even then only a limited subset of problems. If a particular problem wasn't big enough, it was faster and cheaper to use traditional techniques. Now they enable complex global communications networks and are cheap enough to turn sophisticated simulations into entertainment.

And that is just one example.

Re:Your cynicism sir ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47718055)

But you conveniently forget the hundreds of forgotten and unsuccessful attempts. Ornithopters are just one example.

Huge? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47712893)

2400 square feet is "huge"? None of the houses in my neighborhood are that small, and it's not that fancy of a place.

Re:Huge? (1)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | about a month and a half ago | (#47712967)

My house is 1300sqft plus a 680sqft basement. 2400 is a normal-sized house; I have a dinky town house. The town house is inefficient, too: the first floor is kitchen and a giant sprawl room; it was kitchen, dining, sitting, but I altered the kitchen to improve space utilization and decrease cramping, resulting in no need for a dedicated dining table.

If it were just 16 inches wider, I could fit a chamber-REST and floatation-REST isolation chamber inside (both!), instead of just floatation-REST. On the other hand, the master bedroom is greatly oversized.

Re:Huge? (1)

charlesnw (843045) | about a month and a half ago | (#47713189)

I've got a 2800 square foot house. It's pretty massive compared to any other houses I've visited (and certainly any apartments).

Re:Huge? (1)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | about a month and a half ago | (#47713777)

A 2500sqft-ish house is staggeringly large to live in by yourself. On the other hand, it's distinctly not the Roivas mansion.

If I had a 2500 sqft house, I would make extreme use of it.

My bathroom squeezes a 5 foot bathtub against one wall, with the opposite housing a towel rack less than 3 feet away. In the back corner, there's a sink, and there's a toilet behind the bathtub. I'm going to convert to a corner vessel sink with a custom-cut counter top, which will give me a massive amount of counter space but open up the space rounding that corner--it will enlarge the openness and mobility through the bathroom. A Toto toilet with a $600 washlet (no toilet paper; heated toilet seat uses warm water and a forced warmed air blower to wash and dry your ass), double shower head, and 21-inch deep jet tub with inline heater (maintains temperature) will complete a $3000 upgrade. Another $1500 goes into tile floor/walls, double drywall (sound isolation), insulation, and lighting.

That tiny bathroom will be a decked-out luxury spa.

I'm repainting and insulating the house. I'll pop the cost up by about $500-$700 on a $1500 job adding sound isolation. That doesn't include the $1500 of windows--the total cost comes to about a 20% increase, as a DIY project with no labor costs. That's just one room, hardwood flooring and insulation, new drywall, new paint. 75% decrease in sound transfer into the room.

Kitchen got an upgrade. More open, easier to work in, more counter space, more appliance space, and provides a combination counter/table so as to free up the dining room entirely as living space.

You'd be surprised how much you can fit into small spaces. Turn things a bit, move this bit here, and suddenly it feels much more open and has more utility. A little sound isolation eliminates the cramped feeling.

Re:Huge? (2, Informative)

halfEvilTech (1171369) | about a month and a half ago | (#47712985)

for many people a 2400 sq ft house is still a large house. especially if it is a one floor ranch.

I would be willing to wager it is larger than the average home.

which a quick google search shows the average home size in the US in 2010 is at 2392 sq ft, with a median at 2169 sq ft.
source - http://www.census.gov/const/C2... [census.gov]

Re:Huge? (1)

thechemic (1329333) | about a month and a half ago | (#47713213)

Huge != "larger than"

Huge: very large in size, quantity, or extent.
Synonyms: vast, immense, gigantic, very big, great, giant, massive, colossal

You could be correct by saying it's "...larger than the average home." However, the article uses the word "huge". I don't believe that adding a walk-in closet to an average sized home constitutes a "huge" home.

You may also want to look closer at the document you referenced. The average sized home for the NORTH EAST (where this supposedly huge house is located) is 2613 square feet.

2400 is less than 2613

According to your reference material, a 2400 square foot home is neither huge nor larger than the average home based on its location.

Re:Huge? (1)

edawstwin (242027) | about a month and a half ago | (#47713525)

I found another source that put the average at 2700 in 2009 [infoplease.com] . So saying a 2400 sq ft home is huge is like saying, "My six-inch penis is huge".

Re:Huge? (1)

gmhowell (26755) | about a month and a half ago | (#47713707)

I found another source that put the average at 2700 in 2009 [infoplease.com] . So saying a 2400 sq ft home is huge is like saying, "My six-inch penis is huge".

It is, if you are measuring the radius.

Re:Huge? (1)

oldmac31310 (1845668) | about a month and a half ago | (#47714947)

It's 6 inches in diameter - but how long is it?

Re:Huge? (1)

Jason Levine (196982) | about a month and a half ago | (#47713319)

My house is just over 1400 square feet. To me a 2400 square foot house would be huge. If you're thinking that 2400 square feet is small, how big is your house?

Re:Huge? (2)

djchristensen (472087) | about a month and a half ago | (#47713447)

I moved from a very small 1250sqft house to a very large (at least by the standards of this discussion) 4400sqft house (at about 1/7 the cost per sqft). I got more than three times the house (in purely sqft terms) at less than half the cost, so I tend to think of a 2400sqft house as not particularly big, but it depends very much on where you are. I paid in other ways, though, since I had to move from the CA coast to TX to do accomplish this.

In any case, I think the reaction comes from the description of a 2400sqft house as "huge" and part of an "estate". A slightly larger than median-sized home doesn't qualify as huge in that context, although it likely qualifies in the context of 3D-printed homes.

Re:Huge? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47714097)

Most dipshits are looking at 3200 or even 6500. I know of one house that has only 2 kids that is 10,000 sq ft.

Only the completely retarded are buying these giant homes... Or they are married to people they cant stand and need the space to get away from them.

Re:Huge? (1)

jtownatpunk.net (245670) | about a month and a half ago | (#47713483)

That was my first thought. 2400 square feet is hardly a "huge" "estate". I grew up in a 2,250 square foot house. 3 bedrooms, bonus room, and large living room. It didn't have a parlor, music room, den, study, library, conservatory, servant's quarters, etc.

Re:Huge? (1, Funny)

RabidReindeer (2625839) | about a month and a half ago | (#47713899)

That was my first thought. 2400 square feet is hardly a "huge" "estate". I grew up in a 2,250 square foot house. 3 bedrooms, bonus room, and large living room. It didn't have a parlor, music room, den, study, library, conservatory, servant's quarters, etc.

How perfectly horrible. How did you manage?

Did you camp the servants out back in the garden?

Re:Huge? (1)

jtownatpunk.net (245670) | about a month and a half ago | (#47716577)

/hangs head in shame. We didn't even have servants.

Heh, My 3D printer (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47712935)

My 3D printer is 30 Mexicans with 5 gallon buckets. You can pour a house pretty quick. Well, you still gotta build the mold

Call anything 3D printing (1)

RobinH (124750) | about a month and a half ago | (#47712981)

We used to just call it "pouring cement" and "laying bricks" but now that additive manufacturing is such a big hit we have to call it 3D Printing.

Re:Call anything 3D printing (2)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | about a month and a half ago | (#47713127)

Funny, too, because it looks like it's a major pre-fab job building the printer on-site.

In pre-fab construction, housing modules (rooms, etc.) are built off-site, brought in, and assembled. This can range from full room- or floor-sized housing modules down to prefabricated walls and framing assembled into rooms. The most recent prefabricated construction element is the Insulated Concrete Form, a rigid foam form assembled as a concrete pour channel for a basement, producing an insulated foundation.

These 3D printing projects look to assemble prefabricated industrial machinery--the 3D printing platform itself--and then deliver materials to crudely construct a cementious form. It looks like they're using magnesium-based cements instead of Portland lime cement.

Given existing prefabricated concrete forms, I don't see the advantage. Using an ICF, you bring light-weight prefabricated concrete forms rather than heavy-weight prefabricated machinery. Using an ICF, you build up a permanent structural form rather than a temporary industrial complex that must be deconstructed and shipped post-job. Using an ICF, you pour the material directly into the form in one go, rather than layering it in a slow process. Using an ICF, the prefabricated form provides insulation, which a 3D printed form must have applied separately.

This is quite possibly the worst method in history for building simple, small-scale concrete forms. Large-scale forms (high-rises) are currently best built with insulated concrete forms, cranes, steel beams and pylons, and construction methods including driving pylon into the ground.

Looks like a fad to me. 3D printing is not a universal constructor.

Re:Call anything 3D printing (1)

Sique (173459) | about a month and a half ago | (#47713237)

Pouring cement requires a mold you pour the cement in. Laying bricks is manual, discontinuous work.

This 3D-printing works without mold, and it's a continuous process.

Re:Call anything 3D printing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47713451)

Pouring concrete into an ICF form is very simple and fast. Setting up the forms just takes a few days, the pour is done in a couple hours, boom, it's all done. The forms are made of insulating foam and stay in place.

It's proven technology that's way way better than the absurd 3D printer approach.

Image search: insulated concrete forms

Re:Call anything 3D printing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47713489)

"It's proven technology that's way way better than the absurd 3D printer approach."

Every proven technology started off as a concept and a prototype that was improved upon before becoming "proven"

Re:Call anything 3D printing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47714823)

So we can never criticize anything and every single crazy idea that comes along must be given the same credit.

Re:Call anything 3D printing (1)

Sique (173459) | about a month and a half ago | (#47718583)

Criticizing by mentioning that an often used idea is proven? This is no critic, this is just stating the obvious.

Re:Call anything 3D printing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47713531)

This 3D-printing works without mold, and it's a continuous process.

Offering no benefits what so ever.

Re:Call anything 3D printing (1)

RobinH (124750) | about a month and a half ago | (#47714447)

I don't see why bricklaying couldn't be automated.

Re:Call anything 3D printing (1)

sliz3 (933049) | about a month and a half ago | (#47715821)

I don't see why bricklaying couldn't be automated.

http://construction-robotics.c... [constructi...botics.com]

Re:Call anything 3D printing (1)

Sique (173459) | about a month and a half ago | (#47718589)

I don't see it either, but this begs the question if the robot to automaticly lay bricks has some advantages compared with a robot that 3d-prints the wall.

Re:Call anything 3D printing (1)

MacTO (1161105) | about a month and a half ago | (#47713357)

Yeap, but the big difference appears to be automation here. You may be "pouring concrete", but you are doing so without the manual labour of building the mould and without the manual labour of pouring the concrete. Yes, you may have to assemble the printer on site and it may not be able to accomplish as much at the moment. Yet give it a decade and you may be transporting the equipment to the site and may have more fine-grained capabilities to ensure quality and develop new designs.

Re:Call anything 3D printing (2)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about a month and a half ago | (#47713427)

We used to just call it "pouring cement" and "laying bricks" but now that additive manufacturing is such a big hit we have to call it 3D Printing.

Right... this isn't even the first time this has been done either. It's just a machine that mixes cement with filler and pours it into a shape. They then move the shapes into place and kind of prop them up against each other. It's slower, wasteful, not as strong and more expensive than the old fashion way. But he got his name in the paper, and that's all that really matters.

Re:Call anything 3D printing (2)

rahvin112 (446269) | about a month and a half ago | (#47713983)

Tilt up wall construction is one of the most common construction methods in the US. The concrete walls are poured on the ground in forms adjacent to their final location, once cured they are tilted up and connected, once the walls are in place the roof is added. Almost every warehouse or industrial building built these days is built with tilt up wall construction.

It's fast, it's cheap and its low labor. Don't speak of what you dont' know.

A Structure is Not a Keychain Fob (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47713023)

While 3-D printing is suitable for making some objects, like a keychain fob, doing a huge mechanical structure seems too risky and not an appropriate application.

Restrictive (1)

jklovanc (1603149) | about a month and a half ago | (#47713061)

Take a look at the plans [3dprint.com] . Notice that everything is "printed" in strips. That does not look very flexible to me. It looks like it is constructed with cargo containers. Then there is the installation of things such as electrical, hvac, and plumbing. That may be difficult.

3D Printing and Construction (2)

galgon (675813) | about a month and a half ago | (#47713069)

This guy may be taking things a bit too far but there is certainly a lot of room for potential use of 3D printers in construction. The two things I really wish already existed are a 3D room painter and a 3D Drywall Joint Compound Printer. Having a machine that can make your walls perfectly smooth (with no sanding). Then have another machine to paint it with no brush strokes and perfectly straight lines. It would be amazing for both home builders and home owners. When compared to paying someone there would be significant savings with a very quick payback if you used it often (home builder). Although a lot of people would be out of a job because of it.

Re:3D Printing and Construction (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47713599)

Then have another machine to paint it with no brush strokes and perfectly straight lines.

No brush strokes [sawdustgirl.com]
Perfectly straight lines [harborfreight.com]

Re:3D Printing and Construction (1)

Lumpy (12016) | about a month and a half ago | (#47714121)

"3D room painter "

That's called explosives...

If ... (2)

jamesl (106902) | about a month and a half ago | (#47713097)

... if all goes as planned ...

Famous last words.

The rebar thing is important because the material being printed is great in compression but not so great in tension.

Re:If ... (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | about a month and a half ago | (#47714263)

And then he still has to hope that the bond strength works out.

Someone got this a bit wrong (1)

Anonymous Crowbar (692255) | about a month and a half ago | (#47713409)

"...and if all goes as planned the printer will automatically insert rebar into the concrete." Actually when creating a foundation the rebar should be laid first and suspended on dobies then concrete is poured on over the metal cage like structure. One can not simply print rebar & concrete simultaneously.

Re:Someone got this a bit wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47714981)

Luddite. Computers got better, therefore anything is possible.

Re:Someone got this a bit wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47717849)

Why not?

Not sure if it's the first (2)

raketman11 (807813) | about a month and a half ago | (#47713417)

Not sure if it's the first, check the Amsterdam canal house being printed: http://3dprintcanalhouse.com/ [3dprintcanalhouse.com]

Re:Not sure if it's the first (1)

ErnieKey (3766427) | about a month and a half ago | (#47713775)

The canal house is printed in sections that are then put together by hand, so it's not really the same thing.

huge? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47713517)

I wouldn't call a 2400 square foot home "huge". It may be huge by post-WWII suburban housing boom standards, but it is not huge by modern standards. Around here, many of the high-end homes built in the last 15 years are 3,000+ square feet and 2000-2400 would probably be "average". I live in a coastal community with a large number of waterfront summer estates (not year round homes) that can be 6,000-15,000 square feet. Those are huge.

Use Roman Concrete -- no rebar necessary. (1)

danda (11343) | about a month and a half ago | (#47713701)

imho, whoever figures out how to 3D print structures using Roman Concrete will win.

"A most unusual Roman structure depicting their technical advancement is the Pantheon, a brick faced building that has withstood the ravages of weathering in near perfect condition, sitting magnificently in the business district of Rome. Perhaps its longevity is told by its purpose . . . to honor all gods. Above all, this building humbles the modern engineer not only in its artistic splendor, but also because there are no steel rods to counter the high tensile forces such as we need to hold modern concrete together."

Source: http://www.romanconcrete.com/docs/spillway/spillway.htm [romanconcrete.com]
See also:
Businessweek Article [businessweek.com]
romanconcrete.com [romanconcrete.com]
Wikipedia Article [wikipedia.org]

Re:Use Roman Concrete -- no rebar necessary. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47713903)

There is nothing special about the concrete at the pantheon. The walls are just really thick.

Re:Use Roman Concrete -- no rebar necessary. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47713949)

The walls at the base are thick, but the concrete used for the roof is actually extremely specialized. The mix decreases in density as you approach the (unsupported) oculus.

Re:Use Roman Concrete -- no rebar necessary. (1)

swb (14022) | about a month and a half ago | (#47714175)

And in't the oculus itself part of the structural gimmick, eliminating a not insignificant load from the top?

Re:Use Roman Concrete -- no rebar necessary. (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | about a month and a half ago | (#47714451)

It spreads out the load the peak - we call it a thrust ring in modern building practice.

Re:Use Roman Concrete -- no rebar necessary. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47713923)

Doesn't Roman concrete require the special volcanic soil that is plentiful in Italy but not readily available elsewhere?

Re:Use Roman Concrete -- no rebar necessary. (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | about a month and a half ago | (#47714429)

The article is likely wrong. There are no high tensile forces in the pantheon, including the dome, at least not what we would consider "high" today. The structure is a (mostly) compression-only building. The oculus is a compression ring and the dome shape is close enough to a parabaloid that any tension forces are negated and the thrust at the base minimized.

Concrete has tensile strength all by itself. If I gave you a rod of concrete just an inch thick you wouldn't be able to pull it apart. Even tension from bending is allowed in the design of modern structures with every-day concrete. There are several modern admixtures that even allow cracks to self-heal in the presence of moisture.

To see real math applied to the use of all-compression spanning structures, consider hyperbolic paraboloid (saddle shaped) or inverted catenary (paraboloid domes) roofs.In some cases (usu. flat-ish roofs) it's architectural and rebar or prestressing steel is required, but for pure utility you can define a curve that keeps the surface in compression and then the only steel that is added is typically for shrinkage and thermal cycling crack control (which is cheaper than using shrink-compensated concrete mixtures). They're rare because they tend to be very labor intensive to form and cover.

Not an estate, and not huge. (2)

ScentCone (795499) | about a month and a half ago | (#47713995)

When did having a pool turn a mid-size home into an "estate?"

And ... 2400 square feet is "huge?" I'm sure millions and millions of people will be delighted to discover that, all the sudden, they are living on huge estates.

Somebody's been watching too many "tiny home" hipster cult reality cable shows.

Re:Not an estate, and not huge. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47717833)

yeah, I was surprised to find my 2100 sq footer is now prime real estate.

Re:Not an estate, and not huge. (1)

tompaulco (629533) | about a month and a half ago | (#47718257)

It's New York. Apparently, having 2400 square feet there is some sort of big deal.

Agreed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47719093)

The word "estate" refers to the sum total of assets (including the primary residence) of the deceased. Using the word "estate" as a mere synonym for "house" is what you do when you learn your vocabulary from Keeping up with the Kardashians.

Two years? (1)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about a month and a half ago | (#47714555)

The project is expected to take two years to complete...

Good thing they're using a 3D printer then, otherwise it would have taken at least twenty to forty years!

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