How They Print Entire 3-D Homes 

 June 18, 2022

By  Kyrie Mattos

America is experiencing an affordable housing crisis that has resulted in a surge in homelessness. Many affected individuals are older or have physical challenges that make their situations even more difficult. Organizations like Habitat for Humanity, providing housing solutions, have now turned to 3-D printed homes to create affordable, sustainable housing quickly. 

3-D printed homes in all price ranges are also produced by developers committed to sustainable real estate development. They are building net-zero homes that balance homes’ power needs and generate renewable energy to match those needs. There are already stunning net-zero 3-D printed home communities under development.

Why 3-D Homes?

Increased demand for sustainable housing has driven thousands of home buyers to learn more about 3-D printed homes. Housing produces as much as 70% of global carbon emissions, so sustainable housing is a giant step toward a greener planet.  

According to The Universal Design Project, the 3-D building process is sustainable because it uses a shorter supply chain and reduces waste. 3-D printed homes are less expensive and quicker to build than traditional housing. Building a 3-D home in less than 24 hours is possible for under $10,000.

Creators use modeling software to customize homes, so there is no need to hire an architect. Building materials are more eco-friendly than conventional options. Printed homes also offer self-supported walls, thermal insulation, and disaster resilience.

The Technology

3-D printing is an additive manufacturing process capable of creating a physical object from a digital design. During the process, a printer lays down thin layers of material in cement, metal, liquid, or powdered plastic. It then fuses the layers. 

Printing 3-D homes involve extruding a unique mixture, layer by layer, as directed by a three-dimensional computer model. The mixture comprises cement, filler, plasticizer, and other additives. It is loaded into the printer’s hopper, and the printer applies the mixture to a site surface or already printed layers.

The Materials 

The primary material used to print 3-D houses consists of fine-grained mixtures different from traditional concrete. Every company creates a unique recipe appropriate for the printer’s structure, nozzle, and finished product specifications.

Durability, solidification and setting speed, and ductility are the most crucial requirements for 3-D printer concrete. The mixture’s composition determines concrete’s properties, 

The Printers 

3-D printing has been around for some time but is primarily used for small-scale projects like creating models. The printers required can typically fit on a tabletop. Per All3DP printing experts, the process used to make homes requires large-scale 3-D printers. They often measure several meters in length and height and extrude concrete from a nozzle. The devices generally use either gantry or robotic arm systems.

Regardless of configuration, most printers continuously extrude dough-like concrete material and lay it down in layers to create desired building elements. The process is like watching a pastry bag squeeze layers of frosting onto a cake. 

These huge printers follow a blueprint encoded into software. Once the concrete mix is loaded into a printer, the printer adds and shapes materials a layer at a time. Layers are stacked in the software’s coded pattern until the walls are complete. The remainder of a home, such as windows, doors, and paint, are added manually.  

3-D homes created by giant printers are helping build affordable, sustainable housing. The durable housing is quick to construct, highly customizable, and affordable. Various companies build 3-D homes using distinctive printers, building materials, and designs.

Kyrie Mattos


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