3D Printed Homes: Why We’re Only Seeing the Beginning of What’s Possible

Across the world, 3D printing technology has slowly made its way into new housing constructions. There’s a 3D-printed home located in Amsterdam; in the Chinese city of Suzhou, plans are underway to construct a development of 3D-printed mansions.

And now, this technology has finally reached the U.S. housing market in the form of a sprawling luxury estate, constructed entirely through 3D printing.

According to CNN, the 3D-printed Upstate New York estate will consist of a 2,400 square foot mansion, as well as a swimming pool, jacuzzi and car port. New York City architect Adam Kushner, in collaboration with 3D-printing pioneer Enrico Dini and his D-Shape firm, plan to begin excavation and construction soon.

While the swimming pool and jacuzzi are set for completion by the end of this year, 3D printing of the house itself will continue through the end of 2017.

Kushner stressed that the entire project’s realization depends on whether or not he and Dini can acquire a 3D printer large enough to take on such a massive project. Currently, the only printer that can handle this workload is located in Italy, where it was designed and built for Italian military use. Kushner and Dini will require military clearance before it can be shipped to the U.S.

“If I had another printer I’d send it there tomorrow, but unfortunately we don’t have and must wait,” Dini told CNN.

But once construction does start, the results will be incredible to witness. D-Shape uses a distinctive printing process that involves collecting sand, dust and gravel on site and mixing these materials with a magnesium-based binding agent. The resulting building blocks closely resemble marble and allow D-Shape to create unique sculptural forms that other printing systems cannot, CNN reports.

In March 2015, the U.S. housing marketing saw 618,000 new single-family homes begin construction. Who knows how many of these homes will be built using 3D printing technologies someday? According to Kushner, the 3D-printed housing industry is only getting started.

“Why? Because it democratizes construction and architecture and puts it into everyone’s hands, just like the camera phone made everyone a photographer,” he said. “Not everyone is good at it, but everyone can become one.”

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