Professor Behrokh Khoshnevis’ revolutionary robot can 3D print an entire 2,500-square-foot home in just 24 hours. The technology was first developed at the University of Southern California, and it has since caught the eye of NASA and major building firms. The printer is based on the principles of contour crafting—a process that 3D prints large-scale objects layer by layer.
The 3D printer has two crane-like arms and a crossbeam which carries the printhead. The entire machine runs along a set of tracks and can work on all parts of the house simultaneously. Professor Khoshnevis believes the printer can build an entire two-story house in just under a day. For the printer to do its work, the space around the site needs to be prepared and the foundation in place. Additional work is required when it comes to window head jambs and metal ceiling, which can be done either by hand or by cranes. The rest of the process is almost completely automated.
The innovative technology of 3D printing large structures could revolutionize the building industry and help meet the growing demand of housing in city centers. Meanwhile, NASA has given Khoshnevis a grant to experiment with lunar structures and buildings that could potentially be erected on other Earth-like planets.