There is infinite capacity for what 3D printers may yet do. It has already given us furniture, medical devices and household items. Now Apis Cor, a California-based start-up, has 3D-printed a house in Russia in 24 hours. The resulting video has gone viral.
Following a recent popular Irish Times story about a house made out of shipping containers, there is clearly huge interest in new methods of creating affordable housing.
The Russian house, a round, flat-roofed kind of urban igloo, measures 38sq m (409sq ft). It cost $10,143 (€9,566)to build.
It was made possible by a new kind of crane-sized 3D mobile printing machine, and it was printed on site in a snowy location in Russia.
More than 70 per cent of usual construction costs were saved: labour being one.
If this could be duplicated many times over, the advantages of creating low-cost housing in any urban area of the world are clear.
Nikita Chen-yun-tai, founder of Apis Cor, said in a statement: “We want to help people around the world to improve their living conditions. That’s why the construction process needs to become fast, efficient and high-quality as well. For this to happen we need to delegate all the hard work to smart machines.”
Our world could be transformed by 3D printing technology – and perhaps beyond. There are even mutterings that the humans who may make it to Mars will bring 3D printers with them, to make what they need there.