3D printing has come a long way from its early days, and the technology has progressed enough to take on large-scale structures rather than just smaller, single objects. Construction technology company Contour Crafting has been awarded winner of this year’s “Create the Future” contest, an initiative by NASA Tech Briefs magazine. Created by Dr. Behrokh Khoshnevis of the University of Southern California, Contour Crafting allows for the 3D printing of large structures via a computerized construction, a method that takes specs directly from digital CAD models.
As winner, Dr. Khoshnevis and Contour Crafting will receive $20,000 to further develop and implement products and methods. “Contour Crafting is a major innovation that automates the construction of whole structures; and radically reduces the time and cost of construction. The result would be a revolution in the construction industry that would lead to affordable construction of high quality low-income housing, the rapid construction of emergency shelters and on-demand housing in response to disasters. Contour Crafting is the first and only large-scale 3D printing technology that can rapidly construct complete buildings.”
Contour Crafting, formerly featured on CNN
While current efforts are focused here on the lovely Planet Earth, Contour Crafting does not rule out the possibility of expanding to our solar system neighbors, saying, “Our research also addresses the application of Contour Crafting in building habitats on other planets. Contour Crafting will most probably be one of the very few feasible approaches for building structures on the Moon and Mars, which are being targeted for human colonization before the end of the new century.”