It will soon be possible to design and print a new home in a matter of days, a scientist in British Columbia said, thanks to the 3D concrete house printer he has invented.
"I've been watching the technology evolve, and now the computers are powerful enough. It's now possible to do anything," said Dr. Paul Tinari.
Tinari, who has a background in civil and mechanical engineering, held a demonstration of the printer on Thursday in Burnaby, BC. He said that the process is like any other 3D printing technique and that the printer can build the outer shell of a four-bedroom home in 24 hours at only 10% of the cost of normal construction.
The printer prototype was developed thanks to funding from the Civilian Advanced Research Projects Agency (CARPA), which is owned by entrepreneur Kathleen Staples. She said that an initial investment of almost a million dollars was well worth it.
"Suddenly you've got the potential to be able to build a lot of low-income housing very quickly, very comfortably and hopefully very happily for a lot of people to have a private home," Staples said.
Both Staples and Tinari predict that the printer could be used in disaster zones.
CARPA signed a patent for the invention last week. Staples said that the National Research Council of Canada had shown an interest in funding the project.
The structures have to be officially strength-tested before CARPA gets a permit to print real homes in different jurisdictions. Tinari said that the company is already working with the US Federal Emergency Management Agency to build new homes for people who have been living in trailers for the past year, according to a CBC report.