This one-of-a-kind project consists of more than just a 3D printed house. The Additive Manufacturing Integrated Energy (AMIE) Demonstration was created by the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Their aim was to attach a solar-powered building to a hybrid electric vehicle, creating an integrated energy system.
Both the mobile home and car were manufactured by ORNL’s BAAM 3D printer out of carbon fiber-reinforced polymer material. Developed with Cincinnati Inc., this large-scale 3D printer is capable of printing objects as large as 20 x 12 x 6 feet in size. The solar-powered building was designed by the architecture firm Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill and assembled by Clayton Homes. The 3D printed hybrid vehicle can provide energy to the home at night, while the solar panels provide energy to the vehicle during the day.
Professor Behrokh Khoshnevis has come up with a 3D printer concept so massive that it can print an entire 2,500 square foot home, and it can do it in just 24 hours. The printer consists of two crane-like arms and a crossbeam which houses the printhead. By printing super quick drying cement, professor Khoshnevis believes the printer would be capable of completing a two-story building in just under a day.
Behrokh Khoshnevis is a professor of engineering at the University of Southern California. He wants to solve the world’s housing crisis with 3D printing technology. Not only can the Contour Crafting project potentially help the low-income family with shelter. It could someday be used to build houses on other planets. For the last decade, Khoshnevis has been building a gigantic 3D printer capable of printing an entire home. What makes the Contour Crafting method unique is that it takes into account the conduits for electrical, plumbing, and air conditioning units.
As 3D printing begins to edge its way into sustainable housing designs and proposals, one can only wish for a crystal ball to look into the future and see what the long-term impact will be with these progressive architectural ideas. Currently, Sweden’s Belatchew Labs paints a very attractive picture with their vision of what 3D printing in construction, and through use of concrete as a material, could do with some prime real estate: the water.