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World's First 3D Printed Estate Coming To New York 108

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the print-your-own-castle dept.
New submitter Randy-tanner (3791853) writes A well known New York architect & contractor has begun construction on what is possibly the largest 3D printing related project ever undertaken. He is 3D printing an entire estate, which includes an in-ground swimming pool, a pool house, and a huge 2400 square foot home. The project is expected to take two years to complete, and if all goes as planned the printer will automatically insert rebar into the concrete.
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World's First 3D Printed Estate Coming To New York

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    Just because you can do a thing, it does not necessarily follow that you should do that thing.

    • by Ravaldy (2621787) on Wednesday August 20, 2014 @12:25PM (#47712957)

      Progress happens when you take something that has potential but isn't yet viable and make it viable.

      If you could 3D print a foundation and increase the quality and durability of it then it makes sense since I know for a fact that concrete is a complicated process that has potential for major failure if not done properly.

      • While true there is "progress" that serves no purpose. This is one of those cases. Sure, it is interesting that it is possible. But where is the progress? It will not be more stable than concrete, it will not be more durable than concrete and for sure it won't be faster than pouring concrete. The huge advantages of 3D printing (like the ability to seamlessly put something into something else or create durably connected locked joints) simply don't come into play when it comes to building a house.

        • by meta-monkey (321000) on Wednesday August 20, 2014 @01:11PM (#47713411) Journal

          About half the cost of building a house is labor. They say in the article that aside from the guy running the printer, there are no labor costs here. I don't believe that's necessarily true, because there's still got to be somebody wiring the electrical and installing windows, but regardless, it could dramatically decrease the cost of building a home. It could also be a lot faster. Imagine that, just rolling up two trucks to a construction site: one carrying the printer, another with all the crushed rock, setting it up and letting it go. A week later, a finished home ready for a family to move into at half the cost. That brings the dream of home ownership within the reach of a lot of people who wouldn't have been able to afford it before. We live in exciting times.

          • by everett (154868)

            That brings the dream of home ownership within the reach of a lot of people who wouldn't have been able to afford it before. We live in exciting times.

            Unless said people derived their income from building homes, which a lot of the skilled trades still do.

            • But then you're arguing for inefficiency to make-work.

          • Mmm. This has been possible for many years. Pre-fabricated houses, buildings etc. There is no need for a printer. Just pour the damn parts into moulds. Now where's my buggy whip and red flag?
          • by Carnildo (712617)

            Imagine that, just rolling up two trucks to a construction site: one carrying the printer, another with all the crushed rock, setting it up and letting it go. A week later, a finished home ready for a family to move into at half the cost.

            Imagine that, just rolling up two trucks to a construction site: one carrying the left half of the home, and one carrying the right half. A bit of maneuvering to align them on the foundation pad, a little work connecting things up, and the family can start moving in that a

          • by belmolis (702863)
            Also, the machine isn't large enough to print the whole house: it is going to be used to create pieces. Those pieces will have to be assembled and joined to each other. That will require labor.
          • They say in the article that aside from the guy running the printer, there are no labor costs here.

            Care to wager on that? Exactly how do you think they are going to get the fabricated parts in place? Magical levitation? How do you think the fabricated parts are going to be secured and connected? The labor in building a modern structure is less in fabrication than in assembly. It' common for entire walls and roofs to be delivered as preassembled framing. The expense of a foundation isn't in the fabrication but in the prep work for the site - making sure things are level and plumb and the drainage is

        • While true there is "progress" that serves no purpose. This is one of those cases. Sure, it is interesting that it is possible. But where is the progress? It will not be more stable than concrete, it will not be more durable than concrete and for sure it won't be faster than pouring concrete. The huge advantages of 3D printing (like the ability to seamlessly put something into something else or create durably connected locked joints) simply don't come into play when it comes to building a house.

          This is just a precursor towards a future where construction is handled by machines controlled from home office. For example, if you have a large enough 3D printer, you could print whole walls, foundations, etc. and machines could put them together similar to the way cars are built today. This is more of a small scale example of what can be done.

        • I can see printed aercitecture leadng to standardized components of construction. Architects will be just as creative as they are today, but the ability to include standardized design elements, such as a leakproof and stress-qualified roof of a given type at a given size, into buildings will revolutionize the art.

        • by Ravaldy (2621787)

          I don't think you can anticipate how far 3D printing can go. Although 3D printing has existed for a long time it is just starting to be a field of interest. As more research is poured into it will become better and more affordable.

          The progress will be in the ability to make concrete consistently reliable versus the hit and miss you get from hiring one company versus another.

          As for faster you also can't tell. It may be tones faster 10 years from now.

    • by geekmux (1040042)

      Just because you can do a thing, it does not necessarily follow that you should do that thing.

      Really?

      That's going to be kind of a hard thing to convince the YOLO generation to do, especially when they're too busy making six figures recording fart noises over their video game channel on YouTube while watching Jackass sequels for inspiration.

      Seems we pay a LOT to be entertained by the the stupid shit people can do. Go figure why they feel they should continue to do them.

    • by necro81 (917438)
      A reference to Star Trek VI was the last thing that I expected to find as the first post...
    • ... would have ended the computer revolution before it even began. Keep in mind that computers, automobiles, air planes, etc. were all incredibly primitive in their days. At best they provided an incremental step forwards in some applications while being a huge step backwards in most other applications. Yet people plugged away at the technology and created something that was truly amazing in the long run.

      Remember those first computers. They were unreliable number crunchers that could barely be programme

  • by Anonymous Coward

    My 3D printer is 30 Mexicans with 5 gallon buckets. You can pour a house pretty quick. Well, you still gotta build the mold

  • We used to just call it "pouring cement" and "laying bricks" but now that additive manufacturing is such a big hit we have to call it 3D Printing.
    • Funny, too, because it looks like it's a major pre-fab job building the printer on-site.

      In pre-fab construction, housing modules (rooms, etc.) are built off-site, brought in, and assembled. This can range from full room- or floor-sized housing modules down to prefabricated walls and framing assembled into rooms. The most recent prefabricated construction element is the Insulated Concrete Form, a rigid foam form assembled as a concrete pour channel for a basement, producing an insulated foundation.

      The

    • by Sique (173459)
      Pouring cement requires a mold you pour the cement in. Laying bricks is manual, discontinuous work.

      This 3D-printing works without mold, and it's a continuous process.

    • by MacTO (1161105)

      Yeap, but the big difference appears to be automation here. You may be "pouring concrete", but you are doing so without the manual labour of building the mould and without the manual labour of pouring the concrete. Yes, you may have to assemble the printer on site and it may not be able to accomplish as much at the moment. Yet give it a decade and you may be transporting the equipment to the site and may have more fine-grained capabilities to ensure quality and develop new designs.

    • We used to just call it "pouring cement" and "laying bricks" but now that additive manufacturing is such a big hit we have to call it 3D Printing.

      Right... this isn't even the first time this has been done either. It's just a machine that mixes cement with filler and pours it into a shape. They then move the shapes into place and kind of prop them up against each other. It's slower, wasteful, not as strong and more expensive than the old fashion way. But he got his name in the paper, and that's all that really matters.

      • by rahvin112 (446269)

        Tilt up wall construction is one of the most common construction methods in the US. The concrete walls are poured on the ground in forms adjacent to their final location, once cured they are tilted up and connected, once the walls are in place the roof is added. Almost every warehouse or industrial building built these days is built with tilt up wall construction.

        It's fast, it's cheap and its low labor. Don't speak of what you dont' know.

  • Take a look at the plans [3dprint.com]. Notice that everything is "printed" in strips. That does not look very flexible to me. It looks like it is constructed with cargo containers. Then there is the installation of things such as electrical, hvac, and plumbing. That may be difficult.

  • This guy may be taking things a bit too far but there is certainly a lot of room for potential use of 3D printers in construction. The two things I really wish already existed are a 3D room painter and a 3D Drywall Joint Compound Printer. Having a machine that can make your walls perfectly smooth (with no sanding). Then have another machine to paint it with no brush strokes and perfectly straight lines. It would be amazing for both home builders and home owners. When compared to paying someone there w
  • by jamesl (106902) on Wednesday August 20, 2014 @12:41PM (#47713097)

    ... if all goes as planned ...

    Famous last words.

    The rebar thing is important because the material being printed is great in compression but not so great in tension.

  • "...and if all goes as planned the printer will automatically insert rebar into the concrete." Actually when creating a foundation the rebar should be laid first and suspended on dobies then concrete is poured on over the metal cage like structure. One can not simply print rebar & concrete simultaneously.
  • by raketman11 (807813) on Wednesday August 20, 2014 @01:11PM (#47713417) Homepage
    Not sure if it's the first, check the Amsterdam canal house being printed: http://3dprintcanalhouse.com/ [3dprintcanalhouse.com]
    • by ErnieKey (3766427)
      The canal house is printed in sections that are then put together by hand, so it's not really the same thing.
  • imho, whoever figures out how to 3D print structures using Roman Concrete will win.

    "A most unusual Roman structure depicting their technical advancement is the Pantheon, a brick faced building that has withstood the ravages of weathering in near perfect condition, sitting magnificently in the business district of Rome. Perhaps its longevity is told by its purpose . . . to honor all gods. Above all, this building humbles the modern engineer not only in its artistic splendor, but also because there are no ste

    • by Anonymous Coward

      There is nothing special about the concrete at the pantheon. The walls are just really thick.

    • The article is likely wrong. There are no high tensile forces in the pantheon, including the dome, at least not what we would consider "high" today. The structure is a (mostly) compression-only building. The oculus is a compression ring and the dome shape is close enough to a parabaloid that any tension forces are negated and the thrust at the base minimized.

      Concrete has tensile strength all by itself. If I gave you a rod of concrete just an inch thick you wouldn't be able to pull it apart. Even tension fro

  • by ScentCone (795499) on Wednesday August 20, 2014 @02:18PM (#47713995)
    When did having a pool turn a mid-size home into an "estate?"

    And ... 2400 square feet is "huge?" I'm sure millions and millions of people will be delighted to discover that, all the sudden, they are living on huge estates.

    Somebody's been watching too many "tiny home" hipster cult reality cable shows.
  • The project is expected to take two years to complete...

    Good thing they're using a 3D printer then, otherwise it would have taken at least twenty to forty years!

  • by azav (469988)
    2400 square feet isn't a huge home.

You can do this in a number of ways. IBM chose to do all of them. Why do you find that funny? -- D. Taylor, Computer Science 350

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