These 3-D printed homes take just 4 days to build — here’s how they could solve one state’s massive housing shortage

The public has seen a 3D-printed recyclable home made of natural materials. This may be just the beginning.

The design is part of a project to create a “factory of the future” for sustainable, eco-friendly home development by way of 3D printing technology. Researchers at the University of Maine designed the 600-square-foot house, which is made of wood fibers and sawmill residues (known as bio-resins).

This is a revolutionary new home, considering that the current 3D technologies used to build houses often require materials which produce a lot of carbon dioxide when they are produced. For example, the concrete required to build walls. The new homes use wood instead of concrete for all components, with the exception of the foundation.

In 2021, the first 3D-printed home was shown to the public at Beckum in Germany. According to an article from Inhabitat, Janet Mills, the governor of Maine, said homes like the newly printed one could be a solution to Maine’s housing shortage of 20,000 units.

The traditional construction industry is responsible for 27% of global greenhouse gas emissions. 3D printed houses are much more efficient than conventional construction, as they produce less waste because the builders only print what is required and require minimal storage space.

It is not necessary to consume the energy required to transport identical parts from one location to another.

Building technology companies are taking note of this change. Mighty Buildings, an American 3D construction company, has partnered up with Fortera, which is a materials-technology company that makes eco-friendly concrete.

Cement contributes 8% to global CO2 emissions. Four billion tons are produced every year. Fortera’s eco-friendly cement reduces harmful carbon pollution by 60% compared to traditional cement.

3D-printed homes may become cheaper sooner rather than later, in addition to being more sustainable and environmentally friendly. According to German Architect Waldemar Korte this future homebuilding method may be cheaper than traditional methods by the end of next year.

“We are much faster at building,” Korte said to Deutsche Welle. Korte’s 3D-printed home was built in four days. “We need fewer people, and that helps when you have a dearth of skilled people in the industry.”

UN-Habitat states that by the end this decade, three billion people will need better housing. This issue can be solved in a sustainable and efficient way by using 3D printed houses.

The world’s first 3D-printed neighborhood has already been created in Mexico. A report from 2021 stated that between 2021-2028, the global 3D-construction market would grow by 91%.

Recent advances in artificial intelligent may have accelerated the pace of 3D printing.

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