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3D printers build 10 houses in 24 hours
We’ve heard a lot about the potential of 3D printers, creating everything from guns to human organs, but most of what we’ve actually seen has involved expensive machines noisily whirring away for eight hours to create a tiny plastic model of the Eiffel Tower. So imagine our shock when we heard a private company in east China called WinSun has used a giant printer to spit out 10 full-size houses in just one day.
One printer, 10 houses?!
Ok, it wasn’t just one printer, but four. And they’re not the sorts you’d comfortably keep on your desk. According to reports from official Xinhua news agency, these industrial monsters measure 10 meters wide and 6.6 meters high and use multi-directional automated sprays. These sprays shoot a combination of cement and construction waste, building walls layer-by-layer.
A house must be expensive to print, right?
Actually the costs are very low. The BBC reports that the lack of manual labour means that each house can be printed for under $5,000.
Ma Yihe, who spent 12 years designing the printers, says the team is particularly proud of the top-secret technology that dries the cement in an instant.
The stand-alone, one-story houses in the Shanghai Hi-Tech Industrial Park are just the tip of the iceberg, with Ma saying he hopes his printers can be used to build skyscrapers in the future.