According to Professor Behrokh Khoshnevis, from the University of Southern California, you will be able to print structures and walls three times stronger than using the standard concrete process with a similar process to engineering 3D printing.
In engineering circles, 3D printing has been used for many years. It originally started as a general engineering tool to make prototype components and was later used to manufacture components. Now it is used even in medical applications, for example in reconstructive surgery.
Professor Khoshnevis has called his process contour crafting. He said that the scope of the design would be limited only by imagination and gravity as walls can be curved and designs changed with the click of a mouse.
According to the Professor costly, slow and labour intensive construction processes will become a thing of the past.
“Printing” concrete works in much the same way as household 3D printers print shapes out of plastic: a pool of raw material is layered into shapes by a “print head”, allowed to set quickly, then another layer applied.
When building a house, the scale is much larger but the concept remains the same.
A huge gantry would be positioned on rails on the construction site, and multiple large “print heads” would build the house from the ground up – one layer at a time.
Even plumbing and electrics can be inserted by the system.
This technology could be used to build a house in less than 24 hours; a 2500-square-foot house could be built in approximately 20 hours with contour crafting.
Sources: The Herald Sun, The Mail Online