Jun.18, 2013

A number of architecture firms are now competing for whose to be the first to build a fully 3-D printed house. But how realistic it would be, for average person, to print the bricks needed to build a house using 3D printer?

Randy Nelson of Real estate blog Movoto has created a "3D Print your House" calculator to let you calculate how much time and money it would take to print a house.

The calculations are based on the MakerBot Replicator 2, a popular 3D printer model. The first step is to work on how long and at what cost it would take for a 3D printer to print one standard-sized brick, which measures 8 x 3.5 x 2.75 inches, using Replicator 2's mid-range .255 millimeter detail setting.

And the cost of ABS plastic required to create one brick is about $12 (MakerBot sells 1kg of ABS for $48 and each brick weighs 262g).

Based on these calculations, a 2,500 square foot, three level home would take 224 years, one months, and 19 days to print and cost $338,520, and it doesn't take into account weather and assorted other delays, nor interior structure of the house, such as windows, floors etc.

It is fun to look at the figures (though pretty useless) - and nobody would use a desktop 3D printer to build a house. Architecture firms are using industrial 3D printers and materials to build large pieces for the building. But it could be possible, when the technology is improved and more mature, home 3D printer could be used to print replacement parts for your home buildings.


Posted in 3D Printing Applications



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