Behrokh Khoshnevis, currently a professor at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering and CEO of Contour Crafting Corporation, invented the 3D printing construction method while working at the University of Southern California. The technology, which consists of a large-scale concrete 3D printer, is reportedly capable of printing an entire 2,000 square foot house, with electrical, plumbing, and ventilation conduits included, in just 24 hours.
The technology’s inventor believes that his method could have important applications here on Earth, offering low-cost and rapid housing to people of limited means and those in disaster zones, as well as in space, where local materials could be used by the 3D printer to create livable habitats for future colonies.
At present, Contour Crafting Corporation is gearing up to start series production of its first-generation deployable robotic construction 3D printers. “Very soon, we’ll have the first series-ready deployable robotic 3D construction printer,” said Khoshnevis. A press release indicates that the first Contour Crafting 3D printers will be ready for dispatch at the start of 2018.
Through Doka Ventures’ investment, the firm will acquire a 30% stake in Contour Crafting Corporation, and will appoint a Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and Chair of the Board of Directors for the 3D printing company. Khoshnevis will maintain his role as President and CEO of the company and will continue to be majority shareholder.
As the world’s population grows (it is expected to reach 11 billion by 2100!) and urbanization rates rise, low-cost and rapid housing solutions will become increasingly important, especially for those earning low wages. Traditional construction methods will not be able to meet this demand, says Contour Crafting, but 3D printing construction could be up to the challenge.
The Contour Crafting method is capable of printing building shells using a layer-by-layer deposition process. The 800 lbs machine (lightweight compared to most construction equipment), which can build a structure in as little as a day, can be easily deployed to regions where housing is needed. (For instance, for social housing projects or regions that have been hit by disaster.)
Tess. “Contour Crafting Begins Series Production of Deployable Construction 3D Printers.”3ders.org. N.p., 16 June 2017. Web. 20 June 2017.