Last week, we took a look at DUS Architects' experimental DIY efforts at 3D printing a Dutch-style canal house. As the Dutch firm's efforts show advances in printing custom-designed homes, a materials firm in China has reportedly devised a way to rapidly 3D-print 10 houses in just 24 hours. Using a custom-built machine that produces a layered combination of discarded construction materials and cement, the Suzhou-based Winsun New Materials company's pioneering system has the potential to redefine mass housing as we know it.
While the houses look rather dull, their efficient and inexpensive production could be readily applied to large cities facing housing shortages. Each building consists of 3D-printed walls and foundations, while the roofs are made of metallic sheets. A single printing assembly line can produce up to four buildings at a time, costing under $5,000 to print each structure.
Very little human labor is required to assemble the 2,000-square-foot buildings, since their basic elements are made up of single blocks of material.
The elements of each building are printed in a factory, and then shipped on site for assembly, allowing for an expedited construction process. In many of China's cities, where development has been focused on show-stopping mega projects and towering skyscrapers, the country's population continues to urbanize at a rapid rate, and this promising printing system could help the increasing demand for efficient, affordable housing.