Check out this beautiful and super cheap 3D printed house unveiled today at SXSW

Originally published at:


Someday there will be giant robotic wasps making homes for “people”…


with those curved corners, I suspect a smoky-backroom deal with Dyson…


No. I wish people who write these articles would stop conflating constructing the vertical WALLS of a structure (sans doors, plumbing, electrical, windows, etc) with printing an “entire home.” This process can certainly be useful and opens up the possibility of whole new curvy types of structure designs that would have been impractical before, but until the process can do more than just a wall it will have limited impact on the overall cost of building a home.


Very good info here on the 3D home printing process:

This same info can be applied to just about any of the existing house printing operations. It’s interesting to see the actual hidden costs involved from size of the printer and it’s transportation to people and power usage. And of course projected cost savings vs.traditional methods.

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Those bare bulbs on cords going up to the rafters and hanging down is a particularly ugly style choice.


Indeed. There were thoughts when house-printing started of printing-in conduits for pipes and wires, at least, but I’m not actually seeing that much here. I believe I can see that wiring has been added on the inside walls, visible. Like European buildings built before wiring that had to retrofit it. The pipes, Lord knows, probably on the outside of the walls as well.

And the ceiling is visibly a wooden add-on that of course had to be constructed by workmen in traditional fashion. In short, this replaces only the “wall framing” job of house construction. No basement, no floor, just a slab. Thereby useless in cold countries like my own.

It’s a start, but automated home construction has a looo-ooong way to go.


Pfff that layer height. My printer can do 80 microns.


Cavities could be incorporated which could be filled with foam. Here’s an example from my link above. Same goes for electrical runs.


If they aren’t even going to print in the electrical conduit and pipes or get better detail around windows (not even to mention things like maybe doing a roof or smoother surfaces), why not just use a mold? And is this really even cheaper than just using good old-fashioned cinder block? There are surely issues with transporting and assembling the printer, monitoring concrete flow consistency, etc. Are they including tech support in their estimated cost?

Also, cinder block construction is basically the same thing—concrete with a regular pattern of small voids in the middle—but it requires rebar to achieve proper strength, especially but not only in an earthquake. Concrete is good at compression, steel is good at tension, and the two together are more than the sum of their parts. Why would that not apply to 3D printed concrete as well?


Cheaper. Cheaper. Cheaper. (substutute any 3D building printer in the scenario below)


Has anyone seen a layout for the building? I wonder how they incorporated the kitchen and bathrooms. I feel that these 3D printed homes are always created by people and companies that have absolutely zero experience with actual homebuilding or even living in houses. (can anyone else imagine having to continually dust the layered grooves in the walls?) Wall building (framing) is already the fastest, and arguably the most fun and satisfying part of building a house, automating that part would really only save around 10-20% of the building time and creates a result that ends up being far more difficult to repair or customize in the future.


Except for it doesn’t, because you still need a bunch of tools, workers and waste materials to turn a set of walls into an actual house.


I don’t know, but a 650 square foot house probably has a little more than 100 linear feet of walls. If someone told me that they could build a cinder block wall 100’ long for $10k that seems like it might be a reasonable price, but not orders of magnitude cheaper than I would expect. Actually, if the footing/foundation isn’t part of that cost, it might be a little on the high side.

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Even Edison took a whirl at making concrete houses

Failed pretty bad at that it seems.

is offgassing of new 3D printed materials better or worse than conventional building materials? Be a shame if we house the third world only to kill them withfirst-world carcinogens and allergens.

I find it fantastic that since traditional home ownership has been put out of reach of the young, the young just stepped up and changed the fucking game. Tiny homes, 3d printed homes, shipping container homes, corn silo homes (some of my favorites), etc… It many areas things feel a bit bleak, but home innovation is progressing, and I do hope that in the next few years sone of the innovations we’ve been seeing become available wide scale.


What is the point of that huge roof overhang? Why not build the walls out to the extents of the roof, and have twice as much usable space?

Oh come on. There still has to be a factory for the printer, and mines for the cement, and many workers to run and monitor and maintain and drive the trucks to transport it all. Plus the waste in a cinderblock house doesn’t come from the walls, it comes from all the parts that are exactly the same in this tech demo hose. That graphic seems quite disingenuous to me.


Cold was my first question. Code is the second. I suppose heat could be an issue too, in Arizona or Morocco.