[Image: SPECAVIA]

While I can’t say that 3D printed houses are all the rage for homeowners at this very moment, I’m fairly certain this will change soon. 3D printing in the construction industry is growing in leaps and bounds, as countries all over the world, from Russia and France to ChinaDubai, and the US, work to use the technology to build homes, bridges, office buildings, hotels, and even castles. Applications for 3D printing in the construction industry were on the rise in 2017, as multiple companies realized that construction-focused additive manufacturing was a reality, and not just a fantasy.

A new company called 3D Build Systems plans to use 3D printing to introduce affordable, flexible, and fast affordable housing to its town in Florida, starting this summer.

The company, a division of Florida 3D printing company LiteWorld LLC, says that its 3D printing construction process can be used to build a home in only hours.

3D Build Systems CEO Don Musilli said, “It simplifies in many ways the way we construct a wall, but we can do it very quickly and with a pattern that can’t be done manually.”

Musilli, who’s been involved with 3D printing since 2012, and company COO Deborah Hegedus, founded 3D Build Systems in early 2017 to provide a solution to the county’s need for cost-effective and economical, but well-built, housing for the retirement, skilled, veteran, and workforce markets.

According to the website, the company’s mission is:

“To help change the economic landscape by creating opportunities, spurring economic growth and providing a better life for the people who live and work in our community.”

Deborah Hegedus and Don Musilli, co-founders of 3D Build Systems.

Last year, 3D Build Systems created a team of builders, local business leaders, engineers, and architects in order to gather the necessary talent for its goal of building a 3D printing robot, which we often see in the construction industry these days.

“With recent significant advances in 3D Printing and Additive technology, our mission is to design, build and deploy a Robot that could 3D Print a home using cement or other approved building materials in 24 to 36 hours and meet all building codes for that specific region,” the company’s website states.

Actual rendering of 3D Build Systems’ robotic 3D printer.

The company contracted with Canada-based Octopuz to develop a proprietary software for its 3D printing construction robot, which I-Cubed later agreed to build. In February, the concept was presented to members of the community. Using 3D printing robots to build homes can save on both time and labor costs – good news in Sarasota County, which has issues with affordable housing.

Additionally, the homes that the company’s robot 3D prints will be strong enough to hold up under some of the brutal weather conditions that Floridians must deal with, like hurricanes.

“These homes are going to be able to withstand winds of up to 220 mph, an eight on the Richter Scale, longevity 150 years,” Musilli explained. “They’re very, very strong homes.”

The home-building process will require the 3D Build Systems robot to pour out concrete, and other building materials, to build the shell of the house from the inside out. Then, once the shell is complete, a crane would lift the machine out from the center of the house. While the robot is not yet complete, some of the abilities it claims to have include:

  • meet building codes for the specific region
  • build a home in 24 to 36 hours
  • 3D print interior walls within 12″ to 15″ of the base of the robot
  • build with accuracy of plus or minus 0.5 mm
  • build all interior walls at the same time
  • 3D print up to a height of 13′ with a reach of 22′

3D Build Systems wall design, created by local civil engineer.

While the robot will be capable of 3D printing structures up to 1,900 square feet, the company will start small by 3D printing homes between 700 and 1,400 square feet. 3D printing will also allow for the building of unique architectural options, like dome ceilings and rounded walls, that typically cost too much money for traditional home builders.

Musilli said, “The only limitations are the imagination of the potential buyer.”

The plan is for 3D Build Systems to get some cement pumping equipment, minor controls and feed lines, and 3D printed nozzles to try out different cement mixes and build a few wall sections for testing, before bringing its first robotic 3D printer to Florida sometime during Q3 2018. The company will work with building code engineers in Sarasota County to obtain the necessary approvals, before it starts 3D printing homes – hopefully in Q4 2018.

Discuss this story and other 3D printing topics at 3DPrintBoard.com or share your thoughts below.

 

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