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Constructing an Affordable Future with 3-D Printing
January 28, 2014
As a child, perhaps you remember the Jetson family punching orders into what looked like a microwave unit on their wall and - PRESTO! - out popped whatever food or object they desired, seemingly materialized from thin air. Copies have come a long way since the dawn of the first Xerox printer. And the next step lies not in two but three dimensions of shape and form. 3D printing is believed to be the next evolutionary step in manufacturing. Not surprisingly, Nasa has already perfected their own model for their first mission to Mars. (What might they print, you ask? Why, pizza of course!)
Though we find ourselves in the infancy stage of this new method of construction, the folks at USC have led a study that has created the first 3-D printer that can build a house at warp speed. Imagine avoiding the wait of a typical 4-6 month build time and having your new home move-in ready within 48 hours. Mind boggling? You bet. Instead of using plastic materials, however, this machine aptly called "contour crafting" would sandwich sheet after sheet of concrete, assembled by rig.
But the real quantum leap in building exists on the humanitarian side of this innovation. As more families are struggling to own homes than ever before, the housing crisis could possibly be solved by a new wave of affordable dwellings. In fact, this amazing project was formulated in hopes of one day being able to provide emergency relief to those displaced by natural disaster. The great news is that this technology can literally eliminate this need and simultaneously change the world- and it's already here!