Which 3D House Printer To Buy?

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Photo credit: 準建築人手札網站 Forgemind ArchiMedia

A few weeks ago, in a 3D Printing group on Linkedin, I asked if anyone was aware of an inhabited 3D printed house. A couple of the responses I received alluded to housing as a bad match for 3D printing. One person went so far as to challenge James Wolff, CEO of D-Shape Enterprises, LLC, to build a house meeting all International Residential Codes on a lot offered to Wolff for free, in Park County, CO. Wolff has not made a public reply to the challenge yet.

I could write an entire post on what another responder called the hyperbole surrounding 3D printing, but that is not what this post is about.

3D printing offers the most viable means of placing a human shelter on Mars. I think the selective laser sintering method of 3D printing is the most promising at present. I imagine a shelter built on Mars the way Markus Kayser made a bowl in the desert; no liquid would be needed and abundant solar energy could transform Martian soil into a habitable structure.

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Photo credit: Phil Parker

My desire is to build a 3D printed house. Last year, I added 3D printing to a list of requirements for my dream house: Tornado, earthquake, flood, vermin, rodent resistant; clean indoor air, radon mitigated, Feng Shui compliant, Zen inducing, passive/passiv, net zero, aesthetically pleasing, 3D printed. I believe 3D printing will greatly assist with making all of my other requirements achievable.

My wish is to start planning my dream house this year. I hope to build the house within 5 years. I am following the where there is a will there is a way method.

Before I start planning, I need to figure out which 3D printer I should aim to purchase. Up for consideration are the following:

Andrey Rudenko’s
Cost: $300,000 to $5,000,000
Build method: Fused deposition modeling
Material composition: Concrete
First structure build date: 2014
Number of structures built so far: 3
Number of structures occupied: 2
Business location: United States

Apis Cor
Cost: ? (must call to discuss price)
Build method: Fused deposition modeling
Material composition: “standard mixture of sand and concrete with addition of polypropylene fiber and dehydrating agent”
First structure build date: Plans for December 2016
Number of structures built so far: 0 (See interview video 11/24/16 update)
Number of structures occupied: 0
Business location: Russia

BetAbram
Cost: $12,000
Build method: Fused deposition modeling
Material composition: Concrete
Year started: 2013
First structure build date: 2015 (not confirmed)
Number of structures built so far: ?
Number of structures occupied: ?
Business location: Slovenia

Dinitech/D-Shape Enterprises, LLC
Cost: $250,000
Build method: Stereolithography (liquid binder deposited onto powder bed of solid reactant and aggregate)
Material composition: “local materials (crushed rock, sand, gravel) or recycled material (shredded tire or leftover plant matter)”
First structure build date: 2010
Number of structures built so far: 1
Number of structures occupied: 1
Business location: Italy and United States

Looking at this list, I see that the first thing to decide is which build method and building material will work best for my needs. I need to know what happens to the building material after a while. All is for naught if my house cracks and crumbles. I will pursue gathering more information in earnest after I have purchased my house lot.

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