They 3D-print a home in 24h. Now want to custom-print yours

Thanks to new extra-large 3D printers, it’s now possible to print a house with a machine that extrudes a material – usually concrete/cement or a polymer, but more lately even earth – in an entirely additive process so there is exponentially less waste in construction.

Mighty Buildings can print a home in just in their Oakland, CA factory using a thermoset polymer composite that is cured with a UV light (on the printer head). The process is fast enough for the material to support its own weight allowing for organic shapes but slow enough that there is cohesion between layers.

The company stayed in stealth mode while working through the regulatory challenges of such a novel technology. “The is the building codes are written in blood,” explains Mighty Building’s co-founder Sam Ruben, “and we want to make sure that we’re actually getting ahead of that because we don’t want 3D printing to get in the codes only when something goes wrong. So that’s why we’ve moved iteratively to make it as easy as possible for building officials to say yes and allow us to begin delivering units while we continue to demonstrate and build out our portfolio.”

To launch 3D printed homes with their iterative approach they began selling units with just a printed curved wall that were sized to be dropped into backyards as ADUs (Accessory Dwelling Units). And now, they have begun selling kit homes so anyone can customize their own printed home. “The idea here is instead of delivering fully finished modules, we actually deliver a flat-pack panel system similar to a Sears Kit Home from the ‘20s and ‘30s, but updated for the 21st century.” Ruben calls it a “SIPS panel on steroids” because unlike a SIPS panel it can be used as an exterior cladding with a finish that acts as an air, water, vapor, and fire barrier.

Mighty Buildings hasn’t tried to print everything and, instead, they are taking cues from the shipbuilding industry by prefab sections (like bathrooms) so they can plug and play to quickly finish units on a larger scale.

They also hope others will be interested in collaborating and setting up their own Mighty factories to print more locally and rapidly. It’s another reason they’ve worked with the largest standards-making bodies to help develop their new regulations for 3D printed construction. “We helped develop the world’s first standard for 3D printed construction (UL 3401) which has been used as a basis for appendix AW in the 2021 update that means that jurisdictions that use the IRC can plug it into their local codes”.

*On faircompanies: https://faircompanies.com/videos/they-3d-print-a-home-in-24h-now-want-to-custom-print-yours/

22 Comments

  1. Nice!
    The only gripe I have with this system is in the intention to create more suburban instead of urban dwellings, which will continue the demands on resources with a less efficient footprint.

  2. “labor shortage”

    How about instead of eliminating a primary source of entry level employment for able-bodied men, we just find ways to make their jobs safer and more efficient so that the money can be moved from material waste to wages? Such a California mindset to introduce a fad method with the intention of destroying an entire industry of employment for a visibly inferior product.

  3. An individual cannot build it himself, so this means companies will build your house for you, and you will pay 10 times more than you should. Such approach will not make people’s lives easier, self sustainable, and happier.

  4. Welcome my son, welcome to the machine.
    Where have you been? It’s alright we know where you’ve been.
    You’ve been in the pipeline, filling in time,
    provided with toys and Scouting for Boys.
    You bought a guitar to punish your ma,
    And you didn’t like school, and you know you’re nobody’s fool,
    So welcome to the machine.
    Welcome my son, welcome to the machine.
    What did you dream? It’s alright we told you what to dream.
    You dreamed of a big star, he played a mean guitar,
    He always ate in the Steak Bar. He loved to drive in his Jaguar.
    So welcome to the machine.

  5. Maybe contractors are slow to embrace new technology because they’d prefer not to lose their jobs to machines and computer programmers.

  6. This is an interesting video, but a MORE interesting video would be a direct comparison between one of their finished homes vs an identical traditionally built home. All of the talking points aren’t worth much without direct comparison to what we already have.

  7. Great Produkt so wat is the Prise for it and in witch nummers you are builiding them..? Also are you sending to Switzerland👍🇨🇭

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