Apis Kor, a San Francisco-based housing company, took the process of building apartments to a whole new level. In just one day, they finished the entire construction and build a 38 square meter 3D-printed home. They managed to do all of that for the price of US$10,134. Haysha Deitsch, founder, and CEO of Beechwood Acquisitions, an NYC real estate company, believes that building 3D houses could help tackle worldwide housing shortages, in a way we can’t even imagine.
In normal circumstances, building a very small house, not bigger than 400 square feet, takes at least a couple of months, and costs tens of thousands of dollars in materials, plus other expenses. The Apis Cor team saved more than 70% on the usual construction costs, including labor. So, not only did they finish the job much faster, but they also did it for a lower price.
The start-up printed their first house at its test facility in Stupino, south of Moscow. With the help of a 3D printer, they constructed a rounded house. The circular shape was chosen to highlight the versatility of the 3D printing technology. The machine applied cement in layers to form the shape of the house. Once the printing process was done, the crane where the 3D printer was installed, was lifted and removed from the construction site. Setting up the unit was very simple, and as Brent Carrier informs, the start-up company only took an hour, to set up all of the necessary construction equipment.
For insulation, the team used fiberglass reinforcements and a polyurethane-based mixture, which they put in the small gap between the interior and exterior walls. After that, they installed the house's windows, doors and other elements like countertops and cabinets. To finish off, the team painted the house bright yellow. Although small, a 3D house is suitable for year-round living, noted Haysha Deitsch. The house has an open layout and the basic interior includes a compact kitchen, a living room, bathroom and a small hallway.
The additive technology has no restrictions on the design of new buildings. With this test house, the company just wanted to present all of the possibilities that 3D large format printing has to offer. Even if the prints were latched in the cold months, the project could be carried out. The printer uses a special concrete mix which requires that the air is warmer than 5 degrees Celsius. The machine itself operates without any difficulties up to -35 degrees Celsius, stated Mr.Deitsch, and enables printing of houses in every season. If this could be duplicated many times over, there is a whole sea of opportunities for creating low-cost housing in any urban area of the world.
According to experts’ calculations, the 3D house has a shelf life of at least 175 years and defies all weather conditions. There is infinite capacity for what 3D printers may yet do, as it has already given us furniture, medical devices, and household items. Eventually, the entire world could be transformed by 3D printing technology.