Print me a house
San Francisco has a housing problem, due in large part to Silicon Valley and the overspill of that ‘disruptive’ culture to the City on the Bay. It’s also home to an outfit called Apis Cor which says it is the only company to have developed a mobile construction 3D printer capable of printing entire buildings onsite. In addition, it maintains that it can do so in a single day. Plus the constructions it prints last for up to 175 years.
The compact printer weighs just a couple of tons — the size of a common SUV – so it’s easy to transport. And it prints a new abode from the inside via an extendable arm that translates into a 132 m² printing zone. It requires just two workers, one operator, and one dealing with material supply. The kit builds a building with fibre concrete or geo-polymer, printing layer by layer without leaving any waste for clean-up.
Apis Cor reckons it can knock out a building at 40% of the cost a regular concrete build. The final finish is a smooth final finish so that does away with the roughing stage. The company also plans the layout of electrical junctions, engineering systems and nodes within the house in advance.
Apis Cor recently completed its first mobile 3D printed house in the Russian town of Stupino, with pure machine time running to 24 hours for the 38 m² construction (see below).