A different way to build a house #42: Print it

by Marshall Brain

In this article, the author describes the work of Enrico Dini, who has developed a 3D printer able to print house-sized objects:

3D Printing A Whole Building

In Pisa, Italy, Enrico Dini has developed a machine called D-Shape which sprays a magnesium-based glue onto a thin layer of sand (at a resolution of about 25 dpi) to bind it into solid rock, which can be built up, layer over layer in a process that can include internal curves, ducting and partitions.

The following video is in Italian, but the images show you how the machine works. You have a big pile of sand and a spray arm that dispenses the glue that binds the sand together. After spraying a layer, more sand is added to the pile, it is leveled, and then sprayed again. You can jump forward 1 minute to see the machine and some of its output:

At the end of the process, the loose sand not bound by the glue is vacuumed away, leaving the structure behind.

The idea is conceptually similar to a smaller-scale rapid prototyping approach called Stereolithography, which is demonstrated in the following video. The laser is replaced by the spray arm, and the sand rises rather than having a platform fall into a vat:

Enrico Dinis machine is the second technique that has been demonstrated to print a house. The first was developed several years ago by Dr. Behrokh Khoshnevis at USC and is demonstrated here:

The latest research with the most momentum seems to be happening in China, where 10 buildings covering 10,000 square meters were recently printed:

A different way to build a house series...




You may also enjoy this in-depth interview, "Marshall Brain on Singularity 1on1: We're approaching humanity’s make or break period":

On the coming Singularity and Artificial Intelligence:

A Conversation with Marshall Brain from MIRI on Vimeo.

See Also

About the Author
Robotic Nation
Robots in 2015
Robotic Freedom
Robotic Nation FAQ
Robotic Nation Evidence
Basic Income
Discard your body
Manna - the book
Science on the Brain
Careful Parents
Star Wars
How God Works

How to make a million dollars

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Salon
Wired
LiveScience
LATimes Editorial
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